January 21, 2016 / 5:51 PM / 3 years ago

EDF plans two new nuclear reactors in France by 2030-document

* EDF plans two new-model EPR reactors in France

* Aims to build 10 EPRs by 2030, including 4 in UK

* EDF will invite partners to help finance newbuild

By Benjamin Mallet and Geert De Clercq

PARIS, Jan 21 (Reuters) - France’s EDF plans to build two new nuclear reactors by 2030 in a bid to start renewing its existing fleet of 58 ageing reactors, the state-controlled utility said in a document released to its unions on Thursday.

The two new French reactors are part of a plan bring up to 10 European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) designed by French nuclear technology company Areva on line by 2030, EDF said in the document, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

EDF did not detail its forecast, but four EPRs are already under construction: one in Olkiluoto, Finland and one in Flamanville, France — both years behind schedule and billions of euros over budget — and two in Taishan, China.

EDF hopes the Flamanville reactor will be in service by the of end 2018.

EDF also plans to build four EPR reactors in Britain.

In October, it agreed to build two EPRs in Hinkley Point, in the south of England, by 2025 in an 18 billion-pound ($28 billion) project with Chinese utility China General Nuclear (CGN), which will take a 33.5 percent stake.

The Chinese utility has also agreed to help EDF build two more EPRs at Sizewell, in east England.

The two French EPRs would be “New Model” EPRs with improved designs, and would be financed 51 percent by EDF, the firm said, without specifying which partners could finance the other half.

EDF chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy said late last year that the updated design for Areva’s EPR reactor, the EPR New Model, should be ready by around 2020.

He expects France will eventually build some 30 EPR reactors to replace its current fleet, he added.

He also said the company may need partners to finance the future replacement of its French nuclear fleet as EDF’s finances may not allow it to build a new fleet entirely on its own, as it did with the current fleet in the 1970s and 1980s.

Areva had said for years it hoped to sell 10 EPRs worldwide by 2016, but gave up that plan in 2014. Four years of losses have burned up the firm’s equity capital and it has agreed to sell its nuclear reactor division to EDF.

Once that transaction is finalised, Areva will focus on uranium mining and nuclear fuel production. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq and Benjamin Mallet; Editing by Katharine Houreld)

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