French nuclear plant research to include heatwave, tsunami analysis, http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/ElectricPower/26951912 Robin Sayles, newsdesk@platts
France is to invest Eur50 million ($64.2 million) in nuclear safety projects, taking into account knowledge gained from the Fukushima disaster in 2011, caused by an earthquake and huge tsunami.
In a document published late Friday, France’s energy ministry said it has selected over 20 research projects, ranging from operations management studies to disaster impact and radiation risk analyses.
Two of the accepted research projects are to analyze the risks of climate change and extreme weather occurrences. The SEEN project aims to “estimate the current and future climate risks for nuclear power production better,” including heatwaves, droughts and torrential downpours, the government said.
France’s 58 nuclear power reactors, operated by state-owned EDF, rely on river or sea water for cooling purposes.
Sustained hot and dry periods can prompt reactor shutdowns as water temperatures rise, while stormy weather can also release debris into rivers, such as tree branches, which must be filtered before the water is deemed safe for use.
The TANDEM project is to study the impact on France’s coastline of tidal waves, in particular the Atlantic and English Channel, where many of France’s nuclear power plants are situated.
The government did not give the specific leaders of the projects, but it has previously said that the projects would be carried out by academic and state-run nuclear bodies such as IRSN, the national radiological risk body.
Following the Fukushima disaster in 2011, EDF committed to carry out extra safety work recommended by nuclear watchdog ASN, which it said would cost around Eur10 billion.
it would be wise to stop making the stuff
France Starts Public Debate on Underground Nuclear Waste Site http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-15/france-starts-public-debate-on-underground-nuclear-waste-site.html By Tara Patel - May 15, 2013 France has started a public inquiry into a plan to build a nuclear waste repository to be buried half a kilometer under the northeastern countryside.
A series of public meetings will be held through Oct. 15, according to the inquiry’s website, and the government and regulators will consider the outcome when they decide whether to approve the site.
If approved, the Cigeo project will store highly radioactive waste from Electricite de France SA’s 58 reactors in a site near Bure that straddles the Meuse and Haute-Marne regions. Andra, the waste-management agency spearheading the plan, wants to start construction in 2019 and begin operations in 2025.
The facility will cost 13.5 billion euros ($17.4 billion) to 16.5 billion euros for construction and operation over 100 years, according to Andra’s website.
The inquiry is “a masquerade and pure exercise in public relations,” anti-nuclear group Sortir du Nucleaire said yesterday in a statement. No one can guarantee the safety of the site for such a long period, it said.
EDF now stores waste at reactor sites and at above-ground facilities at La Hague in northern France. Sweden and Finland are also developing deep repositories after the European Union established nuclear waste disposal standards in 2011.
Under French law, nuclear operators including EDF and Areva SA (AREVA) have to build portfolios or amass funds to pay for the decommissioning of reactors and radioactive waste storage.
A parliamentary report published last year concluded operators may not be setting aside enough money. Cost estimates for the Cigeo site vary from 14.4 billion euros to 35 billion euros, that report said.
France Isn’t Aiming for Nuclear Zero | The National Interest, Frank Klotz May 8, 2013 The French government finally unveiled its long-awaited livre blanc on defense and national security last week. As expected, the white paper contains grim news for the French military, capping spending at current levels and calling for substantial personnel reductions over the next five years. But one aspect of the French defense posture emerged virtually unscathed. Despite earlier reports about possible cuts in order to save money, the white paper reaffirms long-standing policies on the fundamental purpose and composition of French nuclear forces. While many officials and observers in the West discount the role of nuclear weapons in national security strategy now that the Cold War is over, the French government clearly takes a different view…….. Read more »
French Nuclear Disaster Scenario Was So Bad The Government Kept It Secret http://au.businessinsider.com/potential-cost-of-a-nuclear-accident-so-high-its-a-secret-2013-3 WOLF RICHTER15 MARCH 2013 Catastrophic nuclear accidents, like Chernobyl in 1986 or Fukushima No. 1 in 2011, are, we’re incessantly told, very rare, and their probability of occurring infinitesimal.
But when they do occur, they get costly. So costly that the French government, when it came up with cost estimates for an accident in France, kept them secret.
But now the report was leaked to the French magazine, Le Journal de Dimanche. Turns out, the upper end of the cost spectrum of an accident at the nuclear power plant at Dampierre, in the Department of Loiret in north-central France, amounted to over three times the country’s GDP. Read more »
Renewable energy accounts for 50% of GDF Suez production capacity in 2012 http://www.utilityproducts.com/news/2013/04/10/renewable-energy-accounts-for-50-of-gdf-suez-production-capacity-in-2012.html
Apr 10, 2013 - French utility GDF Suez’s (EPA:GSZ) production capacity from renewable energies stood at 5.1 GW at the end of 2012, or over 50% of the total production capacity of the group in France, the company said.
GDF Suez is the first producer of wind energy in the country and the second major producer of electricity from hydraulic energy, accounting for 25% of France’s capacity.
The group invests in all types of renewable sources, including solar and tidal power, offshore wind energy, biomass and biofuels, such as biomethane.
Trust our nuclear technology: French president to India Deccan Herald, Mumbai, Feb 15, 2013, (IANS) French President Francois Hollande Friday urged India “to trust” his country’s nuclear technology and extended France’s support to the Indian nuclear power generation programme……
France is helping India construct two nuclear power reactors at the proposed 9,900 MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project in Ratnagiri, 400 km south of Mumbai. The project has been facing stiff resistance from locals, NGOs, anti-nuclear groups and some political parties..… Earlier Friday, Hollande met Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, Industry Minister Narayan Rane, Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and Protocol Minister Suresh Shetty and stressed the importance of nuclear energy.
Major nuclear accident would cost France $580 billion: study By Michel
Rose SAINT-PAUL-LES-DURANCE, France Feb 6, 2013 (Reuters) – A
nuclear accident similar to the one at Japan’s Fukushima reactor would
cost France about 430 billion euros ($580 billion), or 20 percent of
its economic output, French nuclear safety institute IRSN said in a
study on the possible financial impact of a nuclear crisis.
A major disaster damaging one of France’s 58 nuclear reactors and
contaminating the environment with radioactive material would displace
an estimated 100,000 people, destroy crops and create massive power
outages, the study said….. Read more »
A “major” accident, rated 7 on the INES scale and similar to the 1986
Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine and Japan’s Fukushima, however, would be
a “catastrophe,” that would “strongly and durably traumatize the
country,” it said.
The health impact from the release of radioactive material would be
severe, the contamination of land would be long-lasting and
neighboring countries would be affected.
Major nuclear accident would cost France $580 billion: study By
Michel Rose SAINT-PAUL-LES-DURANCE, France Feb 6, 2013 (Reuters)
“……The IRSN and former World Bank economist unveiled two disaster
scenarios prompting a core meltdown at a typical 900-megawatt (MW)
French nuclear reactor.
A “serious” accident, rated 6 on the one-to-seven INES scale used by
the International Atomic Energy Agency and one notch higher than the
Three Mile Island accident of 1979 in the United States, would cost
France about 120 billion euros ($162 billion), or 6 percent of its
gross domestic product (GDP).
The consequences – with up to 10,000 people ousted from contaminated
zones – would be “manageable”, the IRSN said. Read more »
Since the start of the year, France has embarked on a national debate
on energy expected to culminate in a law in October to outline the
country’s future energy mix. Environment Minister Delphine Batho has
said the outcome will reflect Hollande’s promises on nuclear
Forecasts that Germany’s power imports would rise and new power plants
would be built as a result didn’t materialize, according to
Hans-Joachim Ziesing, a member of the independent commission
monitoring the energy transformation in Germany…
Hollande Draws French Industry Ire as Nuclear Edge Fades Bloomberg
News, By Tara Patel February 07, 2013 French industrial groups are
up in arms as their once-celebrated nuclear-energy edge evaporates.
After decades when their factories churned out everything from steel,
glass and chemicals with one of the cheapest power prices in Europe
thanks to the country’s 58 nuclear reactors, French companies’
competitive advantage is being whittled away as the U.S. embrace of
shale gas cuts energy prices there and as Germany gives businesses
fiscal breaks on electricity costs.
Electricite de France SA’s nuclear
reactors, which make France the most reliant on atomic power in the
world, will need billions of euros of upgrades Read more »
France protects Niger uranium mine BBC News, 4 Feb 13, Niger has confirmed that French special forces are protecting one of the country’s biggest uranium mines. President Mahamadou Issoufou told French media that security was being tightened at the Arlit mine after the recent hostage crisis in Algeria. French company Areva plays a major part in mining in Niger – the world’s fifth-largest producer of uranium.
Islamist militants kidnapped five French workers from the mine in Arlit three years ago. Four of them are still being held – along with three other French hostages – and it is believed they could be in the north of Mali close to where French troops are battling al-Qaeda-linked militants.
Asked if he could confirm that French special forces were guarding the uranium mine, President Issoufou told channel TV5: “Absolutely I can confirm. ”We decided, especially in light of what happened in Algeria… not to take risks and strengthen the protection of mining sites,” he added.
France’s Agence France-Presse news agency said a dozen French special forces reservists were strengthening security at the site.Areva gets much of its uranium from the two mines it operates in the country, at Arlit and Imouraren… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21318043
Doctors jailed in French radiation scandal The Australian, AAP
January 31, 2013 A FRENCH court has sentenced two doctors and a
radiophysicist to 18 months in prison each for their role in radiation
overdoses that killed at least 12 people and left dozens seriously
Overdoses were given to nearly 450 cancer patients at the Jean Monnet
hospital in Epinal in northeastern France between 2001 and 2006.
It is the most serious incident of its kind France has
FRANCE PREPARES FUND TO SUPPORT SMALLER NUCLEAR FIRMS PARIS http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world/15961651/france-prepares-fund-to-support-smaller-nuclear-firms/ 27 Jan 13, – The French government plans to unveil a fund to support small and mid-size businesses in the country’s nuclear industry, a spokeswoman for the industry ministry said on Saturday, confirming a report in Le Monde newspaper.
The government also plans to set up an association bringing together French nuclear players in addition to the 123 million-euro (105 million pounds) fund, which will be designed to take stakes in companies, bolster their capital and facilitate tie-ups, the spokeswoman said.
It will be financed by major groups such as utility EDF , nuclear reactor maker Areva and engineering firm Alstom , as well as France’s FSI strategic investment fund.
While the proportions are yet to be determined, Le Monde reported that the FSI would provide “a large third” of the sum.
The moves will be decided at a meeting of the French nuclear industry strategic committee on Tuesday, attended by Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg and Ecology Minister Delphine Batho.
The industry ministry spokeswoman said it wants to show support for a sector that employs 200,000 people in France and which will likely hire 110,000 workers by 2020. (Reporting by Yann Le Guernigou; Writing by James Regan; Editing by Doina Chiacu)
France orders special forces to protect Niger uranium: source PARIS Jan 24, 2013 (Reuters)- France has ordered special forces to protect uranium sites run by state-owned Areva in Niger as the threat of attacks on its interests rises after its intervention against rebels in Mali, a military source said on Thursday Reporting by John Irish, Geert de Clercq, Muriel Boselli, Michel Rose in Paris and Abdoulaye Massalatchi in Niamey; …….
The military source confirmed a report in weekly magazine Le Point that special forces and equipment would be sent to Areva’s uranium production sites in Imouraren and Arlit very quickly, but declined to go into further details.
Defense ministry officials declined to comment on the report and Areva said it did not talk about security issues….
Areva, Niger’s biggest single investor, has about 2,700 workers in Niger and is planning to start up a third mine in Imouraren.
A Niger army officer said that there were already security arrangements agreed with France since 2011 after the kidnappings in Arlit and they had been reinforced over time.
“We also have our counter-terrorism units in the Agadez region,” he said. “For now, I don’t know of a decision by the Nigerien government to allow French special forces to base themselves in the north.”
An Areva spokeswoman said this month the French government had not asked the company to reduce staffing in Niger. She added Areva has an extensive security plan for its employees and that the plan has been reviewed by the French authorities.
Areva has been mining uranium in Niger for more than five decades and the country provides one third of the group’s uranium supplies.
According to a parliamentary committee enquiring into France’s supplies of uranium, about 18 percent of the raw material used to power France’s 58 nuclear reactors came from Niger in 2008…. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/24/us-mali-rebels-niger-areva-idUSBRE90N0OD20130124
France on nuclear charm offensive in Saudi Arabia, By Geert De Clercq PARIS, Jan 18 (Reuters) – A top French minister and the chief executives of French utility EDF and reactor builder Areva are visiting Saudi Arabiathis weekend to build a case for selling French nuclear reactors to the oil-rich country.
Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg will meet with Saudi officials and with representatives of EDF and Areva, who opened a joint office in Riyadh six months ago to lay the groundwork for a French nuclear offer.
Montebourg will build on a Nov. 4 visit by French President Francois Hollande to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and a 2011 agreement betweenFrance and Saudi Arabia that offered the Saudis atomic know-how and training for local staff….
France plays a strong hand in Saudi Arabia, which has no nuclear capabilities of its own but has deep pockets and wants to acquire the most modern technology…..
Unlike other suppliers, Areva also sells uranium, offering utilities long-term supply contracts…….
he French will face formidable competition from U.S., Japanese and South Korean consortia. Westinghouse-Toshiba has deep ties with the Middle East, and a Korean-led consortium dealt the French a humiliating blow with its surprise win of a $40 billion contract in Abu Dhabi three years ago…….
Hollande’s government, despite having decided to cut the share of nuclear in French electricity generation to 50 percent in 2025 from the current 75 percent, is keen to export reactors….. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/18/france-saudi-nuclear-idUSL6N0ANEA120130118
On Monday, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said… Key interests were at stake for us, for Africa, for Europe, so we had to act quickly,” said Fabius. Could one of the key interests mentioned by Mr. Fabius be uranium?
Uranium is indeed France’s key energy resource… , the country is heavily dependent on uranium..
Mali: France’s Neo-Colonial War for Uranium? News Junke Post, By Gilbert Mercier 15 Jan 13 In late December 2012, the United Nations Security Council approved the dispatch of an “African-led intervention force” to Mali’s to help the army reconquer the north of the country from Tuareg separatists and their allied Islamist militants. But in recent days, it is not the African-led troops who have been operating in Mali. Instead, troops from former colonial power France have been unilaterally deployed to fight the rebellion in the north….
Recipe for a failed state Read more »
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