French utility EDF to make further tests on faulty Flamanville weldings

PARIS (Reuters) - French state-owned power company EDF EDF.PA said it would make further tests next month on faulty weldings at its Flamanville nuclear reactor plant, which has been plagued by technical problems.

“EDF actively continues to implement the action plan on welds of the main secondary system announced on 25 July 2018. The ‘hot tests’ are now scheduled to commence during the second half of February,” EDF said in a statement.

EDF added it would nevertheless keep the targeted construction costs for Flamanville at 10.9 billion euros ($12.4 billion), and it stuck to a target for completing the loading of nuclear fuel at the plant during the fourth quarter of 2019.

Construction on the Flamanville site in northern France started in 2007, but it was then beset with a series of technical problems, which resulted in several delays.

Last October, France’s ASN nuclear regulator had said that faulty weldings at the Flamanville site would require more repairs than originally estimated and said EDF would have to review materials on the site.

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Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens