Au Revoir, Enel – EDF’s French nuclear partner backs out

EDF Energy’s partner in its new nuclear plant in France has backed out and will be refunded around 613million euros () for its 12.5% stake of the project. Italian power […]

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By Vicky Ellis

EDF Energy’s partner in its new nuclear plant in France has backed out and will be refunded around 613million euros () for its 12.5% stake of the project.

Italian power firm Enel said on Tuesday it has notified EDF of the exercise of its “Exit Right” for the project at Flamanville, Normandy, which will be the first new nuclear power station to be built in France for 15 years.

This means that from December 19th, 2012 Enel will have no part in Flamanville 3 as well as five other power plants to be built in France using the same EPR (European Pressurised Reactor) technology.

Italy’s political climate turned sour towards nuclear power in the wake of the crisis at the Japanese Fukushima plants in 2011.

The firm blamed construction cost over-runs and delays, adding in statement: “This is compounded by a significant drop in power demand and the uncertain timeframe for other nuclear investments in France.” Enel said its French relationship with EDF will continue in other areas.

On Monday the EDF Group announced the full cost had increased by 2 billion euros although insisted production of the first kWhs was still scheduled for 2016.