"Areva, a French nuclear construction company, said this week that its project to build the world's most powerful reactor remained mired in delays and was over-budget by 2.3 billion euros, or about $3.3 billion.
The price tag of the plant in Olkiluoto, Finland -- the first of a fleet of so-called evolutionary power reactors that Areva foresees building in coming years -- was about $4.3 billion in 2003 and costs have steadily increased.
The reactor was meant to have gone online early this summer but Areva no longer is committing to any dates for its completion. Patrice Lambert de Diesbach, an energy analyst with CM-CIC Securities in Paris, said the latest developments were 'bad news' for Areva and 'should be sanctioned by the market.'
The problems faced by Areva are important a time when the nuclear power industry is promising to build safer and more reliable reactors than during the last building boom in the 1960s and early 1970s."