EDF faces ‘massive’ bill for PLEX

22 February 2010

The French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) has warned that EDF will face a “massive” bill if it is to extend the lives of its plants beyond 40 years, the Financial Times has reported.

According to the reports, André-Claude Lacoste, president of the French nuclear safety authority, said that the watchdog was beginning to treat the question of the conditions EDF would have to meet to extend the life of its reactors beyond 40 years.

“To go beyond that without doubt would require massive investment,” he warned.

ANS told the FT that although it was generally satisfied with EDF's management of its reactor fleet, it had observed several “anomalies” in elements of the steam generators - such as blocked water tubes and corrosion - that have led to a series of unexpected shutdowns in recent years.

Lacoste said that as a result EDF had pledged to replace the steam generators on all of its 900MW reactors.

EDF has estimated that for an investment of about EUR400m ($551m) per reactor, it can add value of EUR1.2bn by deferring the EUR4bn cost of a new plant and maintaining the reactor’s cash flow, according to the FT reports.

In France, reactors are licensed every ten years. ANS is due to decide whether to grant licence extension for the two oldest units – Fessenheim 1&2 – in 2011.

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