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UPDATE 1-EDF Energy says no impact on UK nuclear project from Areva issues
March 29, 2017 / 10:40 AM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-EDF Energy says no impact on UK nuclear project from Areva issues

(Adds comment on safety and EU carbon price floor, details)

By Nina Chestney

March 29 (Reuters) - EDF Energy’s nuclear project in Britain will not face any impact from issues related to the discovery of manufacturing irregularities at French nuclear group Areva, a supplier to the new plant, EDF’s CEO said on Wednesday.

French nuclear regulator ASN and other international regulators inspected Areva’s Le Creusot foundry in December after manufacturing irregularities were discovered last year.

Following the discovery, two EDF nuclear reactors have been halted for months, utilities worldwide have launched reviews of Areva-made parts and the Paris prosecutor in December opened an investigation into the suspected falsification of documents.

Asked about the implications for EDF Energy’s planned new nuclear plant in Britain called Hinkley Point C, chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said there would be “no impact”.

An internal document by Britain’s Office for Nuclear Regulation seen last week by Reuters brought into question EDF’s oversight of Areva, saying it would have to carry out a regulatory review before the end of the year.

De Rivaz said there has hardly ever been a project as heavily scrutinised as Hinkley Point C.

“We are ticking all the boxes in terms of being compliant on environment and safety. There is nothing to worry about,” he told the Future of Utilities conference.

On the sidelines of the conference in London, EDF’s de Rivaz said construction work had started at the site and the reactor would be built by Areva.

Asked whether it would be made at Le Creusot, he said: “It will be made at the right place and at the right time. I don’t want to enter into the details.”

An Areva executive also said on Wednesday irregularities at Le Creusot were no reason to close reactors.

De Rivaz also said if other countries in the European Union decided to follow Britain’s lead and introduce a carbon price floor, “it would be good, providing it is at the right level.”

Britain has a domestic carbon floor price, but there have been calls for an EU-wide one to encourage low-carbon investment, as the actual EU carbon price is too low at around 5 euros ($5) a tonne.

$1 = 0.9268 euros Editing by Edmund Blair

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