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Areva to take 500 mln eur charge for Finnish reactor delay - report - UPDATE
12.05.06, 6:16 AM ET

(updates with more details)

PARIS (AFX) - French nuclear energy giant Areva will take a charge of 500 mln eur this year for extra costs because work on the Olkiluoto 3 reactor in Finland is 18 months behind schedule, Les Echos reported, without naming its source.

'The initial calendar was perhaps too ambitious', the business daily cited an Areva spokesman as saying.

'The difficulties met since the start of work are not surprising. It is not a bag of chips that we are constructing in Finland but a nuclear reactor, which, what's more, is the first of its kind,' the spokesman said.

'Despite the 18 months delay, construction of the Finnish EPR (European pressrised water reactor) will not take any longer than usual nuclear sites. We tend to forget, but Chooz, the last reactor completed in France, by EDF, went into service four years later than envisaged,' he told Les Echos.

Finnish energy company TVO announced yesterday that construction of the world's first third-generation nuclear reactor is now 18 months behind schedule.

'Today's estimate is that the unit will be completed at the turn of 2010-2011,' the head of the project Martin Landtman said in a statement.

The reactor, Finland's fifth, was initially due to be operational in mid-2009. Construction began in August 2005.

A consortium comprising Areva and Siemens AG (nyse: SI - news - people ) is building the 3.8 bln eur reactor.

Areva admitted in July that the problems at the Olkiluoto 3 site will have a major impact on the company's full year results.



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