EDF to build up to 1.5 reactors a year in the 2030s

The nuclear power plant of Saint Laurent des Eaux in France (Nitot/CC BY-SA 3.0 Deed)
French nuclear operator EDF aims to build nuclear reactors at a rate of up to 1.5 a year over the 2030s, its chief executive said.

Luc Rémont made the comment at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris yesterday, French media reported.

On the sidelines of the conference, Rémont told journalists: “We’re counting on an accelerated rate of construction capacity for large reactors, to go from what we have today, that is to say one or two per decade, and to gradually increase at one or even one-and-a-half a year.”

He said the acceleration would happen gradually over the rest of the 2020s.

The units would be for the European market.

With such a level of production, EDF wants to achieve economies of scale and build expertise and a strong supply chain.

While at the exhibition, EDF signed cooperation agreements with Canada, India, and the Czech Republic.

It hopes to build six of its flagship EPR2 reactors at the Jaitapur power plant in Maharashtra, a project under discussion for 15 years.

Rémont, who visited India last week, said EDF was “refining technical issues” with its partner.

France wants to start work on the first of six EPR2 reactors for its domestic industry before May 2027 (see further reading).

EDF will build them at a cost of around €52bn.

Two of them will be at Penly in the Seine-Maritime department, with two at Gravelines in northern France.

The last pair will either be at Bugey in eastern France or Tricastin in the south.

The first completion target is between 2035 and 2036 for the Penly reactors.

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