Analysts believe EDF are losing around $1.2m per day due to having to take a nuclear reactor offline following an accident earlier this month.

The Flamanville nuclear power plant was forced to shut down after a fire broke out in its turbine hall. EDF initially stated the plant would open within a week but has been forced to revise that forecast to the end of March.

Work begins this week on replacing damaged equipment.
Flamanville nuclear power plant in France
The unexpectedly long closure adds to the financial pressure on EDF, which last week reported a 6.7 per cent decline in core earnings to $17.4bn in 2016. Closures of its French nuclear plants last year, partly for safety checks, have already cost the 85 per cent state-owned company an estimated $1.3bn.

Prof Neil C Hyatt, head of nuclear materials chemistry at the University of Sheffield, said the lost revenue from the reactor closure in Normandy could be £1m ($1.2m) per day.

“Bringing a nuclear power plant back online after an unscheduled outage is a complex task and EDF will want to ensure that all parts of the system are working safely and effectively. A short delay to complete the necessary checks is to be expected, given that the outage was unplanned,” he said.

Another expert said the cost of closure could be up to £1.8m ($2.2m) per day, depending on energy market prices, and questioned why there was a delay.

“It took operator EDF almost a week to progressively correct the original outage estimate from one day to 50 days. EDF has provided no information as to why the outage time went from a few days to seven weeks,” said Mycle Schneider, a nuclear energy consultant in Paris told the Guardian.