EDF plans to announce new EPR nuclear reactor by mid-2021

FILE PHOTO: A view shows France's oldest Electricite de France (EDF) nuclear power station, outside the eastern French village of Fessenheim, France, February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

PARIS (Reuters) - EDF EDF.PA aims to unveil a new, cheaper-to-build version of its EPR nuclear reactor by mid-2021, the French power company said on Thursday.

EDF has faced costly delays in the construction of some plants, including its Flamanville 3 nuclear project in France which is more than a decade behind schedule.

The French state last year called on the company to improve its record.

EDF, which is majority-owned by the government, said in a presentation that next generation EPR reactors would benefit from a reduction in necessary preparatory studies.

The group said it was also planning on bringing in new oversight measures for its major projects, after a government audit last year highlighted planning deficiencies and poor coordination at some sites.

EDF added in its presentation that it would introduce more of a results-driven relationship with suppliers.

The government has put off a decision on whether or not to build new nuclear reactors until after the Flamanville 3 project is operating, which is now expected at the end of 2022.

Other EDF projects include the planned Sizewell C nuclear plant in eastern England.

EDF is already building Britain’s first new nuclear plant in more than two decades, Hinkley Point C, with backing from China’s CGN.

Reporting by Benjamin Mallet, writing by Sarah White; editing by Jason Neely