Hot water for head Hinkley designer

Posted on 29 Sep 2016 by Fred Tongue

Legal action is being taken against the designers of Hinkley power station because another of its project is reportedly a decade behind schedule.

Areva, the group tasked with supplying two nuclear reactors to the Hinkley Point C station, is being sued by one of its other clients.

Finnish utility company Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) has started legal action against Areva as the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor in Finland, is almost a decade behind its original schedule.

TVO want assurances that a restructuring of Areva won’t cause any further delays to plans to have the plant operational by 2018. A spokesman from the Finnish energy company told Reuters that “We have asked for this several times but have not received the necessary assurances.”

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The news comes as the British government prepares to put pen to paper on contracts with French energy supplier EDF, at Hinkley Point C, that will be designed by Areva.

TVO and Areva are already in a legal dispute at the International Chamber of Commerce’s arbitration court due to the Finnish project incurring severe coasts and delays.

The Olkiluoto 3 project was originally meant to cost €3.2bn but that figure was revised to €8.5bn by Areva in 2012. The EPR reactor is set to become Finland’s fifth and largest, and cover about 10% of the country’s power supply.

Areva is selling the majority of its reactor business to EDF in 2017 and TVO are worried that its project could slip down the list of priorities as other contracts come in to force.

Areva on Wednesday said that the restructuring would not harm the Finnish project.

“Our group will provide all necessary answers,” a spokeswoman told Reuters in an email, confirming they had received the court order on Tuesday.

“Areva is fully mobilised to complete the project as soon as possible and according to the updated schedule.”

There is set to be a signing process in London today where the two plans for Hinkley will be formalised. The original ceremony was due to take place in Somerset but was delayed at the request of Prime Minister Theresa May at the last minute.