EDF delays opening of French nuclear reactor

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The Independent Online

The French electricity giant EDF announced yesterday that it will delay its new-generation nuclear reactor for two years following a pair of deadly accidents and safety reviews prompted by the disaster at Japan's Fukushima plant.

The setback to the showcase EPR reactor in Flamanville in north-west France hits a country that is one of the world's loudest proponents of nuclear energy, at a time when some governments are rethinking their commitment to atomic power in the wake of Japan's lingering troubles.

Electricité de France (EDF), the world's largest nuclear plant operator, says the reactor at Flamanville will go online in 2016 instead of 2014. The reactor has already faced repeated delays and run billions of euros over budget.

EDF said that two accidents had caused it to reorganise its building planning. One accident, in which a worker died after a fall in January, forced civil-engineering work to be suspended for nine weeks. The other left one worker dead after a fall in early June.