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February 27, 2010

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Noel wrote:

The French offered something similar, but they refused to take on the risk of cost overruns.

Sounds like they've learned something from the experiences of one nearby project.

Cheers,

J. J.

Probably. The question is whether they learned the right thing. Areva's marketing depends on the idea that the EPR will become a low-cost mass-produced (well, more or less) standardized design. If they really believed that, then they would chalk Finland up as an unfortunate learning experience and continue to offer turnkey projects as a necessary loss leader until they manage to run down the learning curve.

Only they didn't. So what then did Areva learn? That it's a fuel management company with a loss-leader in reactor construction? That's a hell of a lesson; I don't think it is what they're going to take away from their recent experiences. If nothing else, the French government won't let them --- can you imagine EDF buying Korean plants over the next half-century, as it replaces its current nuclear fleet? Me neither.

Their bet, I think, is that Kepco will come to a cropper in the UAE. "If we can't do it, then it can't be done."

Hrmm. Could it be a simple prestige project?

It's not like nuclear reactors are ubiquitous in the region.

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