Even if President Hollande’s plan for the transition stalls, it seems clear at least that there will be no further expansion of nuclear in France.EDF is planning to build two new nuclear reactors at Hinkley in western England with Chinese help, but at Flamanville in Normandy a new reactor of the same EPR design is behind schedule and massively over budget. A second envisaged EPR reactor in France has been shelved indefinitely – and no other new nuclear power stations are planned.
France struggles to cut down on nuclear power By Rob Broom BBC News, 10 JAN 14 Paris “…….French President Francois Hollande also wants to cut nuclear output sharply – by a third in 20 years. It’s a big ask in a country that now relies on nuclear for 75% of its electricity.
If fully implemented, the pledge would force the closure of up to 20 of the country’s 58 reactors according to Professor Laurence Tubiana a former government adviser who the president asked to facilitate a national debate, paving the way for what they call le transition energetique.
This would be a huge step, but Tubiana describes it as a “logical evolution”.France realised that Japan had survived economically when all its atomic power stations were shut down because of its diverse energy mix. In Japan, before the disaster, nuclear power delivered about 30% of the country’s electricity, but France is hugely dependent not only on nuclear, but on a single generation of nuclear power stations.
It is vulnerable to a “generic risk”, according to Tubiana, where a problem with one reactor could force them all offline for the fault to be fixed. This would cause chaos.
She says the 20 reactors closed in the “transition” could be replaced by renewable energy, which she says would maintain French energy independence and be both “stable and secure”. Continue reading
Freight wagon with nuclear waste derails at depot near Paris, no leak http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/23/us-france-nuclear-idUSBRE9BM0QH20131223 PARIS Mon Dec 23, 2013 (Reuters) – A rail freight wagon carrying nuclear waste derailed at a depot in Drancy, 3 km (2 miles) northeast of Paris on Monday, the mayor of the town said.
There was no leakage of nuclear waste, Jean-Christophe Lagarde said by telephone.
“Today at 1605 (1505 GMT), a freight car transporting radioactive material derailed in Drancy station,” said the mayor, who is also a member of parliament for the French centrist UDI party. About 4,000 freight wagons carrying radioactive or chemical waste pass through the station each year, Lagarde said, calling the incident “intolerable”.
France’s “Europe Ecologie Les Verts” (EELV) Green party called for an end to the transportation of radioactive waste through urban areas and busy stations following the incident.
“The slightest accident can have catastrophic effects,” the EELV party said in a statement. “All (nuclear waste) transport is risky and exposes populations to unnecessary danger.”
Areva may use French fund to help pay for UK nuclear plant -paper http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/12/16/uk-areva-hinkleypoint-funds-idUKBRE9BF0KS20131216 (Reuters) – Areva is in talks with the French government to release some funds set aside for dismantling its nuclear installations in France to help the company finance a new British nuclear reactor, a newspaper reported.
Britain signed a deal with France’s state-owned utility EDF in October to build a 16-billion pound nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in southwest Britain, the first new plant in Europe since the Fukushima disaster.d to help pay for UK nuclear plant – paper
PARIS Mon Dec 16, 2013 State-owned Areva is taking a 10 percent stake in the consortium that will build the facility, which also includes EDF’s Chinese partners China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).
Paris is focusing on the uranium deposits in the Bakouma sub-prefecture of the Mbomou prefecture, in south-eastern CAR.
The primary sources of France’s uranium in southern Algeria and northern Mali and Niger are increasingly threatened ….
escalation of jihadist operations added a sense of urgency to the French quest for the uranium resources
Behind France’s intervention in CAR: Uranium supply security WorldTribune.com By Yossef Bodansky, Senior Editor, Global Information System/Defense & Foreign Affairs 17 Dec 13 Operation Sangaris (a local exotic butterfly) — the French and MISCA (the French acronym for the International Support Mission to the Central African Republic) military intervention in the Central African Republic (CAR) — is escalating.
The French contingent will now be 1,600-troop strong, rather than the 1,200 agreed-upon at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The African Union’s (AU’s) MISCA force will grow to a total of 6,000 troops from Francophone African states, rather than the original estimate of 3,500 troops.
The hasty deployment of these forces only aggravates an already explosive situation in the country and region, and sparks new fighting where none existed before the international intervention had been announced. Most notably is the sudden resumption of fighting in Bangui, a city and region which had been completely quiet and secure literally until the day before the arrival of the new French forces.
The French-led Operation Sangaris had nothing to do with the oft-declared threat of “seeds of genocide” in the CAR. The French administration of President François Hollande is driven by the French desire for uranium ores. Continue reading
Alstom Installs World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine by Energy Matters, 26 Nov 13, French energy company Alstom has successfully completed installing the world’s largest offshore wind turbine, the 6 MW Haliade 150, at the Belwind test site off the coast of Belgium.
Engineered to endure harsh North Sea conditions, the Haliade 150 is the biggest wind turbine ever erected at sea. With a rotor diameter of 150-metres and blades nearly 75-metres long, Alstom predicts each model will provide a 15 percent higher energy yield than other wind turbines – enabling a single unit to power up to 5000 households.
Touted as the new generation in offshore turbine technology, the Haliade 150’s nacelle (engine housing) looms 100-metres above sea level and is designed to operate with a minimum of upkeep. The turbine functions without a gearbox, instead relying on direct drive, and a magnetic alternator system transfers unwanted stresses from strong winds away to the tower, optimising efficiency……http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4044
France’s own nuclear flaws LA Times November, Bennett Ramberg 16, 2013 France’s feisty objection to elements of the proposed Iran nuclear agreement may have merit, but Eric Edelman and Ray Takeyh are way off base writing that “France has an honorable history” in shielding the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and underlying norms. France has had a tradition of helping countries with suspect nuclear ambitions. Before the treaty, Paris provided Israel with the Dimona reactor that it knew would be used for weapons development. After the NPT went into force in 1970, France provided Saddam Hussein’s Iraq with the Osirak reactor. When questions arose, France refused to modify Osirak’s weapons-grade fuel. Paris also provided Iraq with equipment for laboratory work on nuclear enrichment.
In the early 1970s, France provided Pakistan with plutonium extraction technology. Only strong U.S. pressure in 1978 forced Paris to abandon the export of a large reprocessing plant, but this did not stop French companies from supplying other equipment that Islamabad used in the weapons program.
An early partner in India’s “peaceful” nuclear program, France also continued to assist New Delhi after it exploded its first nuclear weapon in 1974.
France has a lot of nonproliferation catching up to do if it is to be taken seriously.
The writer served in the State Department‘s Bureau ofPolitico-Military Affairs in the George H.W. Bush administration. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/la-le-1116-saturday-france-iran-nuclear-20131116,0,3444686.story#axzz2l1V1VIW6
Western Backtrack on Uranium Enrichment Killed Iran Deal http://news.antiwar.com/2013/11/11/western-backtrack-on-uranium-enrichment-killed-iran-deal/US, France Sought to Change Deal at Last Minute by Jason Ditz, November 11, 2013 More details continue to emerge on the disagreements that prevented an expected weekend pact between the P5+1 and Iran, with a last minute side conversation between Secretary of State John Kerry and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius apparently keeping it from continuing. Fabius demanded last second changes to the draft agreement, including removing a clause guaranteeing Iran’s right to civilian uranium enrichment. Kerry reportedly endorsed that demand.
Iran has, under its safeguards agreement, every right to enrich uranium for civilian purposes, and has insisted they are willing to limit that enrichment, but not abandon the right outright.
That already put the talks on shaky ground, and Fabius followed it up with a demand that Iran abandon the under construction Arak reactor, which runs on unenriched uranium. Between the two demands this amounted to a de facto demand to surrender their entire civilian nuclear program, but the US and France continued to insist on only minor sanction relief. At that point though, the deal was dead and everyone just decided to meet again later this month.
EdF’s major shareholder, the French government, is looking to reduce the share of nuclear in France’s generation to around 50 per cent from more than 70 per cent, and intends to fill that hole with (cheaper) renewables.
EdF has effectively handballed the risk of new nuclear to consumer and the UK government. The consumer is picking up the tab through higher electricity bills, and the UK government is using taxpayers money to guarantee 65 per cent of the project cost.
Nuclear Energy Verdict:” Very Disappointing “ Clean Technica, Giles Parkinson, 112 Nov 13 (very good graphs, diagrams) …..we have received an analysis from Deutsche Bank, which makes some other observations about the cost of nuclear, the comparisons with gas, the price of abatement, and the cost of upkeep for France’s existing fleet.
The first point made by Deutsche is that this deal underlines the fact that nuclear is not cheap, but really, really expensive – a point that should not be forgotten in Australia, where there is still a push for nuclear in some quarters despite the abundant alternatives (in particular solar) that are not available to the UK.
As we have noted in the other article, the £92.50/MWh strike price is nearly double the current average cost of generation in the UK. Deutsche takes issue with the UK government’s claim that the contract is “competitive with other large-scale clean energy and with gas’. Continue reading
Chernobyl Children Fukushima Children The French nuclear industry establishes Fukushima “aid” programs right now, with co-support by Fukushima Medical University. The aim is: All Fukushima diseases are psychological and “pure panic reaction” – people overreact. NGOs who talk of danger are irrelevant and irresponsible. These “aid” programs work closely together with local government and are even supported by some anti-nuclear activists and vip’s – national and abroad. Scientists and journalists also cooperate. Meanwhile radioactive atoms remain invisible in breast milk, and bone sarcomas grow fast.
Dr Paul Dorfman, of the Energy Institute at University College, London, believes the British public is facing a turbulent nuclear future. He says: ‘It’s extremely likely that the construction at Hinkley Point will be over-budget and late. It is unfortunate because it will be the UK taxpayer and consumer, no doubt, who will be picking up the bill.’…..
Professor Steve Thomas, an energy policy expert at the University of Greenwich, has written a damning report on the EPR project, claiming, in 2010, that the entire design and construction was ‘in crisis’. His 26-page report catalogued the errors at Flamanville and in Finland, and concluded construction had gone ‘dramatically wrong’.
Deaths, chilling safety lapses, lawsuits, huge cost over-runs and delays: Why we can’t trust the French with Britain’s nuclear future, Daily mail UK, , 26 October 2013, By STEVE BIRD
- EDF’s nuclear reactor plant at Flamanville, Normandy, is beset by financial mismanagement and the deaths of workers
- EDF, along with French nuclear group Areva and investors from China, are due to start work on a £16bn plant in Hinkley Point in Somerset in 2017 It will be the first nuclear reactor in the UK in nearly 20 years – and also first European Pressurised Reactor (EPR)
- … yet no reactor of this design is yet working anywhere in the world……
- The optimism and excitement of that first day of construction is now long gone.Since then, the predicted cost of just under £3 billion has rocketed to more than £7 billion (it could go up still further). Continue reading
French Nuclear Giant Areva Sees Revenue Slump http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/french-nuclear-giant-areva-sees-revenue-slump-20670644 PARIS October 24, 2013 (AP) French nuclear giant Areva says its revenue fell in the third quarter partially due to a slump in business at its renewable energies division.
The state-controlled company said Thursday that its revenue dropped 5.8 percent to 2.1 billion euros ($2.9 billion) in the June-to-September quarter.
The company, which is struggling to stage a turnaround following a global rethink of nuclear energy, said some of the slide was due to unfavorable currency exchange rates, including a strong dollar. It also saw a slowdown in business in its reactors and services division in the U.S.
But the biggest slide came in its renewable energies division, which is small but had been growing quickly. Sales fell 46 percent there. Areva blamed the decline on indecision in the new market.
Areva Said Ready to Join Group Building U.K. Nuclear Power Plant, Bloomberg News By Tara Patel and Francois de Beaupuy October 16, 2013 Areva will take a stake in the Hinkley Point project from Electricite de France SA, the people said, asking not to be identified before an announcement is made. China General Nuclear Power Corp. will also become a shareholder, the people said. Areva and EDF’s boards will meet in the next week to approve the deal, they said.
Bringing in Areva and China General as partners will allow EDF to share the expense of a project likely to cost about 14 billion pounds ($22 billion). The EDF-led group, expected to sign an agreement with the U.K. government next week, will build two Areva-designed EPR reactors able to supply about 3,600 megawatts, more than 4 percent of U.K. generation capacity. Officials at EDF and Areva declined to comment. Nobody at China General was available to comment outside office hours……http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-10-16/areva-said-ready-to-join-group-building-u-dot-k-dot-nuclear-power-plant
Fukushima Doom Confirmed? France Hit By Iodine-131 Cloud While New Radiation Plume Expected To Hit West Coast Of America On Tuesday http://revolutionradio.org/?p=58394, September 22, 2013 By Paul Martin A cloud of Iodine-131 has reached France while the recent 5.3 Fukushima earthquake is sending a new radiation plume around the world according to a recent story from Bobby1′sBlog. This latest plume is expected to arrive on the West Coast of America on Tuesday, September 24th. With radiation now spreading across the entire Northern hemisphere and no end in sight, are we reaching the ‘beginning of the end’? Two videos below confirm the severity of this ongoing doomsday situation.
An earthquake that rocked Japan just south of the Fukushima area shortly after midnight on September 20 (Japan time) sent a new plume of radiation across the Pacific Ocean. Apparently radiation measurements in this area have temporarily spiked.
This new plume would arrive on the west coast around Tuesday, Sept. 24. Previous earthquakes have also generated plumes. I remember that the one that arrived after the Jan. 1, 2012 quake was really nasty.
In a previous discussion Iodine-131 from latest criticality it was noted that the iodine spike in Chiba prefecture sludge was deposited in the period August 7 through August 20. According to CRIIRAD, Montélimar, France had spikes in alpha and beta atmospheric radiation on September 4-7. Rhône river water in Avignon showed a spike in iodine-131 on Sept. 7. The iodine cloud must have widened and dispersed quite a bit in its journey across the northern hemisphere… and 75% or more of it would have decayed by the time it reached France. So it must have been quite a substantial radioactive cloud.
Fukushima not only affects Japan, but the Pacific ocean, North America, and Europe too. Australia has had average radiation levels increase substantially, also.
France to Tax EDF Nuclear Output for Energy Shift to Renewables Bloomberg, By Tara Patel - Sep 21, France will introduce a levy on nuclear energy as well as a tax on carbon emissions from fossil fuels to raise billions needed to boost renewable power and improve energy efficiency.
“All change is expensive in the short term even if it’s beneficial in the long term,” French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said today in a speech about the environment in Paris.
The nuclear levy will be applied to Electricite de France SA’s existing atomic reactors, he said. The carbon tax will be introduced “progressively” on fossil fuels in order to earn 4 billion euros ($5.4 billion) in 2016…….
France’s Green party, which had said it would withdraw support for the Socialist government over the slow pace of policy initiatives, applauded the carbon tax announcement and new incentives towards home renovations for improved energy use.
Ayrault didn’t give details of how much EDF, which is 84 percent owned by the government, will have to pay. The utility is compensated for the higher cost of electricity produced by wind turbines and solar panels it buys through a tax on power bills called the CSPE…….
Carbon Tax The planned carbon tax, to be called a “climate energy contribution,” will be “neutral” next year and generate 2.5 billion euros in 2015 and 4 billion euros in 2016, Ayrault said. It will be applied to gasoline, diesel, coal, natural gas as well as heavy and heating fuels…….
Hollande said yesterday the an energy law would be passed by the end of next year capping nuclear-power capacity and granting the state the legal means to shut down reactors.The president hasn’t said whether more nuclear plants will close, beyond the planned shuttering of Fessenheim in eastern France by the end of 2016.
France will also seek to cut energy use in half by 2050 and fossil fuel use 30 percent by 2030, Hollande announced yesterday. It will implement incentives to spur energy-saving measures in homes and use of electric cars by adding recharging stations.http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-21/france-to-tax-edf-nuclear-output-for-energy-shift-to-renewables.html
Niger audits Areva uranium mines, seeking better deal By Daniel Flynn and Abdoulaye Massalatchi NIAMEY | Fri Sep 20, 2013 (Reuters) - Niger has ordered an audit of French nuclear group Areva’s (AREVA.PA) uranium mines in the West African country as it presses for a better deal in talks over a new long-term contract, Mining Minister Omar Hamidou Tchiana told Reuters.
Areva’s two mines in Niger – Somair and Cominak – produce the fuel for roughly one-third of France’s nuclear power, providing some of the cheapest electricity in the West.
Niger, a former French colony and one of the world’s poorest countries, has long complained it does not reap enough benefits from these resources……..
Extractive industries watchdogs, including the local branch of Publish What You Pay, have accused Areva of a lack of transparency in its revenues and costs in Niger…….
Previous Niger governments have struggled to substantially increase the state’s take from uranium and details of the 2003 mining contract have been kept confidential. The IMF estimates Niger’s gross domestic product at around 5.5 billion euros, only just over half of Areva’s revenues of 9.3 billion in 2012……..http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/20/us-niger-areva-idUSBRE98J0MY20130920
- 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES
- business and costs
- climate change
- indigenous issues
- marketing of nuclear
- opposition to nuclear
- politics international
- Religion and ethics
- secrets,lies and civil liberties
- weapons and war
- 2 WORLD
- MIDDLE EAST
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- Christina's notes
- Christina's themes
- rare earths
- resources – print
- Resources -audiovicual