EDF estimates Flamanville 3 startup by end 2022 after repairs - ASN

PARIS, June 20 (Reuters) - The head of France’s nuclear watchdog ASN said on Thursday that state-controlled utility EDF had estimated that repairs needed on faulty weldings at its Flamanville 3 EPR nuclear reactor could be done by the end of 2022 before its start-up.

ASN nuclear industry regulator said on Wednesday that EDF would have to repair eight faulty weldings prompting the company to say on Thursday that it was reviewing the costs and timelines of the project following ASN’s decision.

“If the repairs have to be done before startup, and depending on the type of repairs that would be chosen, EDF estimates that the repairs could be done by the end of 2022,” ASN’s head Bernard Doroszczuk told journalists.

“The decision by ASN has heavy consequences, but at no instance does it call into question the conception of the EPR reactor and the undisputed advances on nuclear safety,” Doroszczuk said.

He added that a decree authorising the construction and operation of the Flamanville 3 nuclear reactor in the north of France would have to be modified given the current situation. (Reporting by Bate Felix Editing by Geert De Clercq)