nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear fusion – expensive boondoogle – as far away as ever

nuclear-fusion-pie-SmStar power: Troubled ITER nuclear fusion project seeks new path, Phys Org 23 May  by Pascale Mollard “……Launched in 2006 after years of wrangling, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project is saddled with a reputation as a money pit.

It has been bedevilled by technical delays, labyrinthine decision-making and cost estimates that have soared from five billion euros ($5.56 billion) to around 15 billion. It may be another four years before it carries out its first experiment………

ITER’s job is to build a testbed to see if fusion, so far achieved in a handful of labs at great cost, is a realistic power source for the energy-hungry 21st Century.

Fusion entails forcing together the nuclei of light atomic elements in a super-heated plasma, held by powerful magnetic forces in a doughnut-shaped chamber called a tokamak, so that they make heavier elements and in so doing release energy.

The principle behind it is the opposite of nuclear fission—the atom-splitting process behind nuclear bombs and power stations, which carries the risk of costly accidents, theft of radioactive material and dealing with dangerous long-term waste…….

The tokamak—a word derived from Russian—by itself is an extraordinary undertaking: a 23,000-tonne lab, three times heavier than the Eiffel Tower.

“This is a project of unprecedented complexity… a real challenge,” said Mario Merola, in charge of ITER’s internal components division.

Management tangle

Part of ITER’s problems lie in a diffuse managerial structure and decision-making among its partners: the 28-nation European Union, which has a 45-percent stake, the United States, Russia, Japan, China, India, South Korea and Switzerland. he partners are providing their contributions mostly in kind, which has been a cause of messy, protracted debate about who should provide what, when and how. It has been further complicated by the role of national agencies, which in turn deal with their own suppliers.

In some cases, said Bigot, discussions have dragged on for six whole years without resolution……..By November, there will be a new progress report, with the likelihood of a further increase in the price tag. The project has no reserve fund to deal with the unexpected…..So far around seven billion euros have been contractually committed to the thousand or so companies working on the scheme. Every year of delay adds 200 million euros to the bill……”clearly if we can’t manage this project correctly, if undertakings are not kept… (the project) could be in danger.” http://phys.org/news/2015-05-star-power-iter-nuclear-fusion.html

May 23, 2015 Posted by | France, technology | Leave a comment

EDF makes an offer to AREVA

flag-franceNuclear: EDF made an offer to over 2 billion euros in the … – Les Echos 23 May 15 As he announced, the president of EDF Jean Bernard Levy has sent this Friday to Areva executives Philippe Varin and Philippe Knoche, its proposal for the resumption of the activity of reactors Nuclear Group (Areva NP, formerly Framatome). Reportedly, this offer values ​​the activities concerned just over € 2 billion, net of liabilities of the company. Specifically, the valuation is calculated on the basis of a multiple of 7.5 times EBITDA (EBITDA) activities occasions, recalculated according to the area concerned and restructurings that have been completed. “ This is an indicative offer, which must be followed by a period of due diligence before being adjusted to become a firm offer, possibly with conditions precedent ,” said a source close to the folder. “ At this point, the offer of EDF covers about a third of the financing needs of Areva, estimated at around 7 billion euros ,” continues the source.

During his public this week, Jean-Bernard Levy was very explicit. If the proposal EDF responds to a request of the State, its majority shareholder…..wseconomymarket.blogspot.com.au

May 23, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics | Leave a comment

Australians the suckers as AREVA tries to sell its failed nuclear technology down under

A negative learning curve on steroids What to make of the EPR saga? Areva is backing the wrong horse − the outcome of current political debates will result in a declining role for nuclear power in France, coupled to the growth of renewables.

A new report by ADEME, a French government agency under the Ministries of Ecology and Research, concludes that a 100% renewable electricity supply scenario is feasible in France. The report estimates that the electricity production cost would be €119 per megawatt-hour in 2050 in the 100% renewables scenario, compared with a near-identical figure of €117/MWh with a mix of 50% nuclear, 40% renewables, and 10% fossil fuels.

areva-medusa1Areva has also backed the wrong-sized wrong horse: a giant reactor with a giant price-tag. That said, the backers of ‘small modular reactors‘ are having no more success than Areva. And Areva isn’t having much luck with its mid-sized ATMEA pressurised water reactor………

The EPR saga shows that developing modified versions of conventional reactors (in this case pressurised water reactors) can be complicated and protracted and can end in failure. How much more difficult will it be to develop radically new types of reactors? The French government’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety has recently produced an important critique of Generation IV nuclear power concepts. It states that there “is still much R&D to be done to develop the Generation IV nuclear reactors” and it is sceptical about the safety claims made for Generation IV concepts.

Feeling the pressure: Bumbling nuclear’s negative learning curve Jim Green, 21 May 2015, Climate Spectator http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2015/5/21/energy-markets/feeling-pressure-bumbling-nuclears-negative-learning-curve

French state-owned nuclear giant Areva is offering to sell its ‘world leading’ nuclear technology to South Australia. The offer is being reported in the South Australian media without a hint of irony. A reality check is in order.

Areva has posted losses in each of the past four years including a €4.83 billion loss in 2014. Continue reading

May 22, 2015 Posted by | France, safety, technology | Leave a comment

Engie not willing to acquire troubled nuclear company AREVA

scrutiny-on-costsflag-franceEngie will not acquire struggling French nuclear group Areva, Ft.com 21 May 15  Michael Stothard in Paris Engie would consider working with struggling French nuclear group Areva on some business lines but is not looking for any full-blown acquisitions to help rescue the company, according to the chief executive of the utility.

“If we consider something, it would be in co-operation with Areva, not simply an acquisition of some assets,” Gérard Mestrallet told the Financial Times on the sidelines of a business and climate change conference in Paris

The comments come as the French government looks to elicit the aid of French companies to help rescue Areva, which reported a €4.8bn loss last year.

Areva, which is 87 per cent government-owned, has fallen victim to a slump in global demand for new reactors that followed the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, as well as crippling cost overruns at key projects…….

Any deal between Areva and Engie would be likely to come alongside a much larger agreement with EDF, which earlier this week outlined its preference for a broad rescue package to acquire Areva NP, the division that designs, manufactures and maintains nuclear reactors.

“The more ambitious proposal from EDF will preserve the technical expertise of Areva’s reactor business and create the possibility of partnerships with outside groups from France or elsewhere,” said Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF’s chief executive.

The more ambitious proposal from EDF will preserve the technical expertise of Areva’s reactor business and create the possibility of partnerships with outside groups from France or elsewhere– Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF’s chief executive

Another option on the table would see EDF, which is 85 per cent state-owned, simply recruit 1,200 Areva engineers who specialise in nuclear safety. This would require a greater injection of capital in the group from the government, however.

It is ultimately up to Paris to decide between these two options. A decision could come as early as June ……….3.http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/3d592a50-ffb8-11e4-8c46-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3aoqg2DDh

May 22, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics | Leave a comment

Finland pulls out of building Olkiluoto 4 nuclear reactor

Finland cancelsthumbs-down – is the EPR finished?, The Ecologist,  Dr Jim Green & Oliver Tickell 15 May 15 

This week Finland cancelled its option for a second European Pressurised Reactor as the existing EPR project sinks into a abyss of cost over-runs, delays and litigation, writes Jim Green. It now looks like the EPR is a failed technology and its owner, French nuclear giant Areva, is fast running out of both money and orders as its ‘hot prospects’ evaporate.

There’s been plenty of bad news recently for the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) nuclear power station design.

And now there’s more. The Finnish electricity company TVO announced this week that it had cancelled plans to build a second EPR at Olkiluoto in western Finland because of delays and problems with the first EPR on the site currently being built by Areva and Siemens.

That plant, Olkiluoto 3, is running severely over time and budget. Construction began in 2005 and it is not expected to commence operating until 2018, nine years late.

The estimated cost has risen from €3.2 billion (US$3.6b) to €8.5 billion (US$9.5b). Areva has already made provision for a €2.7 billion (US$3.0b) writedown on the project, with further losses expected. FTVO and Areva / Siemens are locked ina €10 billion legal battleover the cost overruns.

Finland’s government had given TVO a deadline of 30th June to request a building permit for its planned Olkiluoto 4 plant. TVO said it would not pursue the project due to “the delay of the start-up of Olkiluoto 3 plant unit.”

It added: “In this situation it is impossible to make significant Olkiluoto 4 related decisions necessary for the construction license application.” Continue reading

May 20, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics, Reference | Leave a comment

Gloomy financial situation for AREVA in so many ways

Despite the guaranteed increased purchase price for Hinkley Point C’s power, however, investors are not in a hurry to jump on board with a project where Areva will not just build the reactors but is also to bring in funding in the amount of 10% of the project’s total cost. The problem is that last fall, the company admitted it was having serious economic difficulties, which may cause it to fail to deliver on the financial commitments in the Hinkley Point C project.

Areva’s economic troubles have to do with another project the company is pursuing: the highly problematic reactor construction at a new site in Olkiluoto, Finland.

Survival of the fittest? World’s major nuclear builders are in for a long stretch in the red, Bellona, May 18, 2015 by  MOSCOW 

“………..The project considered to be the flagship for the French nuclear industry in Europe is the nuclear power plant Hinkley Point C in Great Britain, estimated at €24 billion. The project envisions building two reactors of the EPR – for “European Pressurized Reactor” – design in Somerset, in England’s southwest. No new reactor construction was previously undertaken in Great Britain for a period of many years, and, on account of nuclear energy’s less than perfect reputation from the economic point of view, such a large-scale endeavor in a country with a market economy seemed quite unlikely.

Yet, the project received both the British government’s approval and state guarantees on a fixed purchase price for the power the future plant will be generating. A favorable determination on the project was eventually also handed down by the European Commission, which had been looking into the legality of the state guarantees provided to Hinkley Point C. What the grievances against the project boil down to is that purchase of power from Hinkley Point C at a guaranteed price – one that is substantially higher than today’s energy prices – has too close a semblance to state subsidies, and the latter is prohibited in the EU. This was the reason why far from all the European ministers voted in favor of the project, and litigation is still expected on the matter: Austria, which has voiced its disagreement with the European Commission’s decision, intends to challenge it in court.

Despite the guaranteed increased purchase price for Hinkley Point C’s power, however, investors are not in a hurry to jump on board with a project where Areva will not just build the reactors but is also to bring in funding in the amount of 10% of the project’s total cost. Continue reading

May 20, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

Safety problems may mean the end for AREVA’s EPR nuclear reactor

the International Energy Agency’s World Economic Outlook 2014 report:

  • that nuclear growth will be “concentrated in markets where electricity is supplied at regulated prices, utilities have state backing or governments act to facilitate private investment”;
  • and that “nuclear power faces major challenges in competitive markets where there are significant market and regulatory risks.”.

Finland cancels Olkiluoto 4 nuclear reactor – is the EPR finished?, The Ecologist,  Dr Jim Green & Oliver Tickell 15 May 15 A negative learning curve on steroids

“……What to make of the EPR saga? First, Areva is backing the wrong horse – the outcome of current political debates will result in a declining role for nuclear power in France, coupled to the growth of renewables.

A new report by ADEME, a French government agency under the Ministries of Ecology and Research, concludes that a 100% renewable electricity supply scenario is feasible in France. The report estimates that the electricity production cost would be €119 per megawatt-hour in 2050 in the all-renewables scenario, compared with a near-identical figure of €117 / MWh with a mix of 50% nuclear, 40% renewables, and 10% fossil fuels.

Areva has also backed the wrong-sized wrong horse: a giant reactor with a giant price-tag. That said, the backers of ‘small modular reactors‘ are having no more success than Areva.

Areva has backed the wrong-sized wrong horse at the wrong time – the Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath, stagnant energy demand, the liberalization of energy markets, the political fallout from the Fukushima disaster and other factors have dampened demand for new reactors and made it more difficult to secure finance (or government subsidies) for huge projects.

The EPR saga undermines the rhetoric of standardised, simplified reactors designs ushering in a new era of nuclear growth. It also shows that developing modified versions of conventional reactors (in this case pressurised water reactors) can be complicated and protracted and can end in failure.

How much more difficult will it be to develop radically new types of reactors? The French government’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety has recently produced an important critique of Generation IV nuclear power concepts.

It states that there “is still much R&D to be done to develop the Generation IV nuclear reactors” and it is sceptical about the safety claims made for Generation IV concepts.

The EPR saga shows that even countries with extensive nuclear expertise and experience can mess things up. The EPR might have demonstrated the potential for mass production to drive down costs – but in reality it is demonstrating the opposite.

Even before the EPR fiasco, the large-scale, standardised French nuclear power program was subject to a negative economic learning curve – costs were increasing over time. The EPR represents a negative learning curve on steroids.

That point is emphasised by construction cost estimates of £16-24.5 billion (US$24.3-37.2b; €21.7-33.2b) for two planned EPRs (with combined capacity of 3.2 gigawatts) at Hinkley Point in the UK. In the mid- to late-2000s, the estimated construction cost for an EPR was £2 billion; current estimates are 4-6 times higher.

Private companies have pulled out of EPR projects in several countries (Italy, the US, the UK, etc.). Thus the EPR fiasco reinforces points made in the International Energy Agency’s World Economic Outlook 2014 report:

 

May 20, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

Crowdfunding and recuperation programs for Fukushima children

img_0387.lBpthJI3PGah.JPGFukushima c’est eux Fukushima c’est nous
A group of parents who has been hosting children from Fukushima since summer 2012 are now organizing another round of crowd funding for summer 2015.
Details on their crown funding site.
http://fr.ulule.com/fukushima-nous/
Here is the information about the previous year’s achievement.
http://fr.ulule.com/fukushima/

JCSシドニーレインボープロジェクト JCS Sydney Rainbow Project
2015年夏、東北の震災孤児・遺児を10人、シドニーに保養に呼ぶ計画です
Summer camp 2015 for children who lost parents/family members
詳細はこちら For donation details https://readyfor.jp/projects/sydney

FUKUSHIMA KIDS DOLPHIN CAMP 2015 フクシマドルフィンキャンプ2015 御蔵島
“Dear eARThist family,
Oak to all relations Tokyo would like to present 2015 Fukushima Kids Dolphin Camp in Mikura Island this summer for children to release their stress from radiation fear caused by 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and give them an opportunity to play in the mother nature. And WE ARE COLLECTING DONATIONS!
See more at http://www.oak-to-all-relations.org/fukushima-kids-dolphin-camp2015/

Source:  Save Children From Radiation
http://www.save-children-from-radiation.org/events/

image

May 18, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, France, Japan | | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear safety worries as fires break out close to 3 nuclear power plants

safety-symbol1flag-franceFrench police investigate fires near three nuclear sites http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/05/12/uk-france-nuclear-fires-idUKKBN0NX1HD20150512 PARIS  French police are investigating fires that caused minor damage near three nuclear installations, state-owned utility EDF (EDF.PA) and atomic research agency CEA said on Tuesday.

Fires broke out on Monday morning at a weather station near EDF’s former Brennilis nuclear power station in Brittany and another near its Belleville nuclear plant on the Loire river, a spokeswoman said.

She said the fire had damaged equipment belonging to the IRSN nuclear research institute used to measure pollution and radioactivity at the weather stations, which are each about 1.5 kilometres away from the nuclear plants. “Police investigations are ongoing,” the EDF spokeswoman said.

Another fire was started on Monday evening at a weather station close to atomic research institute CEA’s Valduc site in Burgundy where nuclear weapons are manufactured and dismantled.

“There was the beginning of a fire, but it was quickly put out and there were no real consequences,” a CEA spokesman said, adding that a complaint had been filed with police.

The simultaneous incidents are reminiscent of drones that flew over French nuclear plants last year which raised safety concerns. [ID:nL5N0SR0DY] (Reporting by Michel Rose; editing by Jason Neely)

May 13, 2015 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment

Canadian review board knocks back Areva’s planned uranium mine as uneconomic

thumbs-downReview board recommends against Areva Canada uranium mine http://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCAKBN0NW22H20150511  May 11, 201 By Rod Nickel WINNIPEG, Manitoba – A review board in the northern Canadian territory of Nunavut has recommended that Areva’s AREVA.PA planned uranium mine should not proceed, due to uncertainty about timing of the company’s plans to build the mine.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission released the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s report on
Monday.The review board makes recommendations to Canadian federal ministers who are responsible for the decision.

Uranium prices have been weak since 2011’s Fukushima disaster in Japan, which caused that country to take its reactors off-line. The slump has led uranium producers to put some plans for new mines on hold.

The Nunavut review board considered the project’s social, economic and environmental impacts, but concluded that it could not adequately do this with no clear development schedule. The board said its recommendation, if adopted by Ottawa, does not mean that Areva could not apply again for approval.

Areva spokeswoman Veronique Loewen said the company was disappointed and is reviewing the report.The project involves two separate open-pit mine sites and a milling operation.

 

May 13, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, Canada, France | Leave a comment

AREVA’s nuclear options narrow in attempt to save thecompany

Indebted French nuclear company Areva sacks workers, negotiates with Paris, Financial Review, 10 May 15  French nuclear group’s options narrow; Talks with EDF and state over costs of shake-up by Michael Stothard

French nuclear group Areva is to cut 6,000 jobs over three years – 14 per cent of its global workforce – as options for a government-backed rescue package begin to narrow.

Areva, which reported a €4.8bn loss last year, said it was also lowering wages for surviving staff in an attempt to deliver the bulk of a €1bn cost reduction target.

However, the state-controlled group, which has seen its equity capital fall to nearly zero after four years of losses, is continuing to negotiate a more radical restructuring plan with EDF and the French government.

People close to the discussions said that these talks now focus on just two remaining options, and a final decision will be made in the coming months.

 Under the first option, EDF, which is 85 per cent government owned, would acquire the nuclear reactor and engineering businesses of Areva, taking control of the process of designing and building new reactors as well as maintaining existing plants.

This deal, which could be valued at as much as €3bn, would result in the break-up of Areva, a company once regarded as one of the crown jewels of France’s nuclear industry. But, at the same time, it would limit the amount of cash the state has to contribute to Areva in a capital raising, which is expected to accompany such a deal.

Under a second, simpler, option – which people close to the talks say is preferred by the managements of Areva and EDF – only the smaller engineering business of Areva would be sold to EDF.

This would keep Areva relatively intact. But with EDF paying only between €300m and €1bn, it would necessitate a much bigger capital contribution from the cash-strapped French government to Areva.

 Both deals would require all parties to agree a deal on price, which has been a contentious issue in recent weeks.

To help mitigate the cost to the state of any capital raising, Areva will consider approaching its existing Chinese partners, according to people familiar with the plans………http://www.afr.com/news/world/indebted-french-nuclear-company-areva-sacks-workers-negotiates-with-paris-20150510-ggy6b0

May 13, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics | Leave a comment

Areva’s nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in La Hague in crisis- shunned by clients

areva-medusa1Crisis for Areva’s La Hague plant as clients shun nuclear, News Daily  May 6, 2015 EMMANUEL JARRY FOR REUTERS BEAUMONT-HAGUE, France – Areva’s nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in La Hague needs to cut costs as its international customers disappear following the Fukushima disaster, and its sole remaining big customer, fellow state-owned French utility EDF, pressures it to cut prices.

Located at the westernmost tip of Normandy, La Hague reprocesses spent nuclear fuel for reuse in nuclear reactors and is a key part in Areva’s production chain, which spans uranium mining to fuel recycling.

Its valuation and outlook are crucial for the troubled French nuclear group, which is racing to find an equity parter after four years of losses have virtually wiped out its capital……….

One of the world’s biggest nuclear waste storage facilities, La Hague’s four pools hold the equivalent of about 50 reactor cores under four meters of water.

Protected by 1.5 meter thick anti-radiation concrete walls, employees in space suits cut up spent nuclear fuel rods, extract uranium and about one percent of plutonium, and melt the remaining waste into glass for eventual deep storage.

Areva says reprocessing reduces natural uranium needs by 25 percent but opponents say that separating plutonium from spent nuclear fuel increases the risk of nuclear proliferation.

The United States does not reprocess its nuclear fuel, but Britain has a large reprocessing plant in Sellafield. A planned recycling plant in Rokkasho, Japan – modeled on La Hague – has been plagued by problems and is years behind schedule.

Since the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Areva’s reprocessing unit has lost nearly all of its international customers.

The company’s “back-end” sales – which include reprocessing, logistics and decommissioning – have fallen to 1.53 billion euros in 2014, 18 percent of Areva’s turnover, from 2 billion euros, 30 percent of nuclear revenue, in 2004.

EDF SQUEEZE

In the past decades, more than 32,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel has been reprocessed at La Hague, of which nearly 70 percent for EDF, 17 percent for German utilities, nine percent for Japanese utilities and the rest for Swiss, Belgian, Dutch and Italian clients.

This year, La Hague expects to treat 1,205 tonnes of spent fuel, of which just 25 tonnes will come from abroad. That leaves Areva with EDF virtually as its sole customer, and although both firms are state-owned – Areva 87 percent, EDF 85 percent – EDF has played hardball in contract negotiations.

La Hague extracts plutonium from used nuclear fuel, which it then sends to Areva’s Melox plant in southeast France, which produces MOX fuel – a mixture of plutonium and spent uranium – for 22 (soon 24) of EDF’s 58 reactors.

The arrival of new management at both companies since the start of the year has ended years of hostility between France’s two nuclear champions, but a 6.5 billion euro contract to treat and recycle 1,100 tonnes per year of EDF’s spent fuel for the 2013-2020 period has still not been signed…………http://newsdaily.com/2015/05/crisis-for-arevas-la-hague-plant-as-clients-shun-nuclear/

May 8, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, reprocessing | Leave a comment

AREVA’s woes heralding a slippery global slope for the nuclear industry?

areva-medusa1flag-franceFrench Nuclear Dynamo Stalls, NYT, By  and STANLEY REEDMAY 7, 2015 PARIS — For decades, France has been a been a living laboratory for atomic energy, getting nearly three-quarters of its electricity from nuclear power — a higher proportion by far than in any other country.

And France’s nuclear companies have long been seen as leaders in building and safely operating uranium-fueled reactors around the world — including in the United States — and championed by Paris as star exporters and ambassadors of French technological prowess.

But in the last few years, the French dynamo has started to stall. New plants that were meant to showcase the industry’s most advanced technology are years behind schedule and billions of euros over budget. Worse, recently discovered problems at one site have raised new doubts about when, or even if, they will be completed……..

Alarmed by the French industry’s problems, the Socialist government of President François Hollande is expected soon to announce an industry overhaul. As the majority owner of the country’s two main nuclear companies — the reactor maker Areva and the big utility operator Électricité de France — the government will aim not only to put the companies on a firmer financial footing but to reorganize them in hopes of restoring the French industry’s role-model luster.

On Thursday, Areva took the first of those steps by announcing big cost-cutting plans. The move is likely to trim as many as 6,000 jobs from the company’s global work force of 45,000 — as many of 4,000 of those coming in France……….

the stumbles elsewhere by Areva and Électricité de France — better known as EDF — have raised troubling questions about the viability and cost of the UK’s  Hinkley Point plant. And while Prime Minister David Cameron has courted the Chinese, other British officials have raised security questions about involving state-backed Chinese companies.

With the French companies struggling, some nuclear experts see a slippery geopolitical slope. Continue reading

May 8, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics, politics international | Leave a comment

6,000 employees of failing nuclear giant AREVA are to lose their jobs

areva-medusa1French nuclear group Areva to cut up to 6,000 jobs worldwide, Yahoo 7 News May 8, 2015,
Paris (AFP) – French nuclear group Areva, which incurred massive losses last year, announced Thursday it would cut up to 6,000 jobs worldwide as it seeks to slash its costs by a billion euros by 2017. 
he number of job cuts will be between 5,000 and 6,000 worldwide, said the group’s human resources director Francois Nogue.Between 3,000 and 4,000 of the job losses will be in France.

Areva had earlier said it planned to reduce its labour costs by around 15 percent in France and 18 percent internationally.

The group’s labour costs currently come to between 3.5 billion and 4.0 billion euros — an unsustainable level given that revenues are only about twice that, said Nogue………….https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/27700325/french-nuclear-group-areva-to-cut-up-to-6-000-jobs-worldwide/

May 8, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, employment, France | Leave a comment

French govt kept its own report under wraps – 100% renewable energy is feasible

flag-franceSuppressed French report says 100% renewables is possible, Energy Transition,  23 Apr 2015   by  Over the Easter break, French daily Le Monde reported that an official study for a conference to be held last week was being held back. The energy experts investigated a 100 percent renewable supply of electricity by 2050. Craig Morris got hold of a copy, which still lacks an executive summary. So he wrote one.

Last week, a conference was held in France to investigate, as the title puts it (website in French), whether France is ready for 40 percent renewable electricity by 2030. But as Le Monde pointed out at the beginning of the month (report in French), French energy agency Ademe announced at the beginning of the year (press release, PDF in French) that the centerpiece was to be “the presentation of an unpublished study showing the path towards 100 percent renewable electricity.” Ademe itself commissioned the study, which was conducted under conditions that French think tank negaWatt calls “extraordinary” (in French).

According to Le Monde, Ademe says the presentation of the study has been taken off the agenda because the subject is “very sensitive.” The paper goes one step further calling it “explosive.” At the beginning of the year, French Energy Minister Ségolène Royal threw her weight behind the construction of a “new generation of reactors” (report in French), potentially calling into question the government’s official goal of reducing the share of nuclear in the power sector from around 75 percent to 50 percent.

The word now is that the study – which reportedly already cost nearly 300,000 euros – is to be published later this year. In the meantime, the experts are to “verify” a number of the findings.

What are the findings? The leaked PDF has two blank pages where the executive summary should be. So I wrote my own.

Executive Summary

The French power sector faces fundamental challenges over the next two decades. Nuclear power currently covers around three quarters of demand, but the average nuclear plant is around 30 years old. The government aims to reduce its dependence on nuclear, partly by switching to renewables.

France has not only been a leader in science for centuries, but is also proud of its long democratic tradition. The combination of democracy and research makes a broad investigation into possible options obviously desirable. This study is designed as a scientific investigation within a democratic debate.

Previous studies have investigated (nearly) 100 percent renewables in Japan (Energy Rich Japan), Germany (KombikraftwerkGeschäftsmodell Energiewende, and SRU), the UK (Zero-carbon Britain), Australia, the US (90% renewable electricity in Renewable Electricity Futures), California (PDF), and indeed for the European Union as a whole (RE-thinking 2050). Ecofys has conducted a 100 percent renewable scenario for the entire world, and Greenpeace regularly updates its Energy [R]evolution studies, which are also global. PriceWaterhouseCoopers has also produced a roadmap for 100 percent renewable electricity in Europe and North Africa (PDF). This list is not exhaustive; we refer readers to the World Future Council’s (WFC) list of such studies and reports, which can be searched by region. The WFC has also produced this overview. Furthermore, Denmarkand the Netherlands already have an official target of 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

The present study is intended to help fill that gap for France. It is hoped that the findings will contribute to an open discussion about the French energy future, including with the informed public. The main previous study for France was produced by négaWatt, which investigated more than 90 percent renewable energy (not just electricity) in 2011.

In line with these other publications, the study found that a 100 percent supply of renewable electricity would be possible and affordable but not trivial. To account for efficiency and conservation, two basic scenarios are investigated, one with 406 TWh of annual consumption, the other with 487 TWh (2014: 465 TWh). The study also investigates the effect of temperatures on power demand – an aspect not generally covered in other such studies, but useful here because France is so reliant on electricity for space heating. Note here that Denmark aims to use excess renewable electricity to produce heat (power-to-heat). In other words, France’s current dependence on electric heat, which is currently seen as a problem, can be helpful in a transition towards renewables.

One question is how much of each type of energy source – solar, wind, biomass (excluding methanization), geothermal, hydropower, and ocean energy – would need to be installed. The study answers this question in great detail for each of the country’s 21 regions…………

The entire investigation also places France within its European neighbors, which are assumed to be 80 percent renewable by 2050 (in accordance with the European Commission’s Roadmap 2050). The power trading situation is therefore also studied. The goal will therefore be greater energy independence without complete autonomy.

Finally – and here I simply translate a passage from page 6 – “Ademe is fully aware that this study is only a first step down a path we will have to travel in the years to come. The findings raise new questions, which future studies will have to address.”

Craig Morris (@PPchef) is the lead author of German Energy Transition. He directs Petite Planète and writes every workday for Renewables International. For this report, he would also like to express his thanks to the swarm (you know who you are), who helped him put together the list of studies into 100 percent renewables. http://energytransition.de/2015/04/suppressed-french-report-says-100-renewables-is-possible/

April 25, 2015 Posted by | France, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

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