France’s EDF to invest 100 million euros to boost labor training in nuclear industry

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(Reuters) – EDF said on Friday it plans to invest 100 million euros ($110 million) in 2020–2021 to set up a training college and boost welding and other skills in the French nuclear sector in a bid to correct problems that have mired the industry. 

The action plan, known as Excell, was demanded by the French government in October to tackle skills shortages and other shortcomings that have damaged the industry’s reputation and led to over a decade of delay and major cost overruns on the construction of the new-generation Flamanville 3 EPR nuclear reactor.

EDF did not say where it would open the college or give other details of its planned training schemes. 

EDF’s plan, and the completion of the Flamanville project is a prerequisite for a French government decision on new nuclear projects in France. 

“The Excell plan must create the conditions to regain confidence in the French nuclear sector,” EDF Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy told a news conference, adding that the nuclear sector has not been able to maintain the same industry standards as other sectors such as the aeronautic sector.