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Nuclear option: Illinois grapples with the future of nuclear power

WSIU Public Broadcasting | By Andrew Adams | Capitol News Illinois,  March 17, 2023

Lawmakers consider loosening restrictions as environmentalists seek an end to state’s atomic age

A measure allowing the construction of new commercial nuclear power plants has bipartisan, bicameral support in the state legislature as the body considers its next steps in meeting carbon-free energy goals while maintaining grid reliability.

Its advocates say the measure would open the door for the use of smaller nuclear reactors to serve as a carbon-free power source when the wind doesn’t blow on turbines and the sun doesn’t shine on solar plants.

While proponents are hopeful, the technology behind nuclear power’s potential resurgence hasn’t yet been deployed for power generation anywhere in the United States. A few examples of small next generation reactors exist across the world, but in the U.S. only one of these smaller nuclear reactor designs has been approved by regulators…………….

The nuclear industry is all for this push. Representatives of Constellation Energy, the state’s nuclear power company, have said they support any legislation to make it easier to build nuclear reactors……….

But some environmentalists and anti-nuclear advocates say allowing new nuclear technologies represents a fundamental risk to the future of the carbon-free movement and the state’s environment………………………………………..

Two of the state’s major environmental advocacy groups, the Illinois Environmental Council and the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, oppose lifting the moratorium on nuclear power plant construction.

“We believe that nuclear is not clean energy,” said Jack Darin, the director of the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club. “Its full life cycle has very serious impacts.”

After nuclear fuel is used, it continues to emit potentially hazardous radiation for tens of thousands of years. Eventually, this spent fuel should be moved to a long-term disposal facility, although no such facility has ever been designated or built in the U.S. This means waste is often kept on-site at nuclear facilities in pools or in steel cannisters designed to block radiation.

Grundy County has the nation’s only de facto permanent disposal site, and it has been at capacity since 1989. With nowhere to dispose of spent fuel, waste management continues to be an open question for the nuclear industry and the NRC.

Darin also pushed back on some of the concerns about electrification, pointing out that advancements in energy efficiency could reduce the overall load on the electric grid.

“The ideal path for our nuclear fleet is a steady reduction of our reliance on it,” Darin said.

……………………….A new regulatory landscape?

To facilitate this potential nuclear renaissance, lawmakers are considering two effectively identical proposals to end a moratorium on nuclear plant construction that has been in effect since 1987. The temporary ban was put in place pending the federal government’s designation of a long-term disposal site for nuclear waste.

One bill, House Bill 1079, was introduced by Rep. Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights, and passed out of committee on Feb. 28 on a 18-3 vote. The second, Senate Bill 76, was introduced by Rezin and passed out of committee on March 9 by a 15-1 vote.

Nuclear construction was mostly abandoned after the 1980s

The average age of the nation’s nuclear fleet is just over 41 years old. Though the NRC is increasingly licensing plants to a lifespan of 60 or 80 years, this has raised questions about how long nuclear plants should be allowed to operate.

…………………. No commercial SMRs are online in the U.S., meaning their long-term economic benefits (or unforeseen costs) are yet to be seen……………………

Edwin Lyman is a physicist and director of nuclear power safety with the Union of Concerned Scientists. While he and the UCS took no position on lifting the state moratorium, he likened lifting the policy to “opening Pandora’s box.”

“We have extensively reviewed the safety claims for a range of new nuclear technologies that have been proposed and found that in general they offer few safety benefits compared to current technologies, and in some cases may pose even greater risks from accidents, terrorist attacks or extreme weather events made more probable by climate change,” Lyman said in written testimony to the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee.

In a follow-up interview, Lyman said construction moratoriums are one of the few ways states can regulate nuclear safety.

David Kraft is the head of the Nuclear Energy Information Service, an anti-nuclear advocacy group. He said that ending the moratorium could result in the state becoming the dumping ground for spent nuclear fuel.

“This puts a safety and security burden on the state that it didn’t sign up for,” Kraft said.

Kraft said he is particularly worried about ending the moratorium because of lawmakers’ interest in new nuclear models, like microreactors and small modular reactors. He cited the fact that some designs for smaller reactors don’t have safety features required for traditional reactors, like containment buildings………………………………………………………………………..

Under their current licenses, Illinois’ six nuclear power stations will be offline by 2047

Constellation has said they will extend the licenses of their plants to 80 years if they continue receiving state and federal support, although its predecessor company has announced (and reversed) plans to close four plants in the past 6 years.

………………….. Constellation announced in October that it’s applying to extend the life of its Dresden and Clinton plants for 20 more years. If the application is approved, Clinton could operate until 2047 and Dresden could operate until 2051.

………………. Nuclear critics have taken issue with the relationship the state has with its nuclear energy provider.

“For decades, the only way you could get renewables built in Illinois was if Exelon got something in exchange. Now it’s gonna be Constellation,” Kraft said. “They’ll come back in a few years for more bailouts. They’ll be complaining even if the small modulars come online because the market is lowering the prices. They’ll come up with excuses.”


March 20, 2023 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Taiwan phasing out nuclear power

 Taiwan is buying more LNG for delivery over the next year as it closed a
nuclear reactor and is set to phase out nuclear power generation by 2025.
Taiwan’s CPC Corp bought via a tender this week at least 10 cargoes of
LNG to be delivered between May this year and March next year, traders
familiar with the deals told Bloomberg on Friday. The LNG purchases are
also part of Taiwan’s strategy to procure more gas to offset the decline
in nuclear power generation, according to the traders.

This week, Unit 2 of
Taiwan’s Kuosheng nuclear power plant was taken offline and will be
decommissioned following the expiry of its 40-year operating license. There
are now two remaining nuclear reactors operating in Taiwan at the Maanshan
nuclear power plant. Those reactors are expected to be shut down in 2024
and 2025.

 Oil Price 17th March 2023

March 20, 2023 Posted by | ENERGY, politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

UK Chancellor blocks cheap renewable energy , while promoting expensive nuclear power

The Chancellor has been accused of keeping his head “buried in the
sand” and committing public money to expensive solutions to the climate
and energy crisis. Jeremy Hunt reiterated in the Spring Budget the
Government’s desire to invest £700 million in a new nuclear plant in
Suffolk, £20 billion in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and he suggested
that small modular reactors – a technology yet to be proved viable –
could receive funding.

He also said nuclear power will be reclassified as
“environmentally sustainable” while the Government’s
soon-to-be-launched Great British Nuclear scheme will boost investment in
the industry. Backing expensive technologies like CCS and a new nuclear
programme, while still blocking cheap onshore wind in England and failing
to properly insulate the UK’s energy-leaking homes, will leave the UK
hooked on high energy costs.

Bronwen Smith-Thomas, co-director at the
Climate Coalition said: “The Chancellor has delivered a budget in the
midst of an energy crisis while keeping his head buried in the sand.
“This government has the chance to kickstart a British golden era for
people and planet. This means supporting homegrown renewable energy and
buildings upgrades to bring down bills, protecting and restoring our
natural world, and providing support to the most vulnerable to insulate
them from the damaging impacts of climate change and the energy crisis.”
The Chancellor was criticised for his focus on nuclear and CCS instead of
insulation and renewables and MPs have questioned what has changed to make
nuclear power environmentally sustainable.

 Independent 15th March 2023

March 19, 2023 Posted by | politics | Leave a comment

Scotland’s not-so-Green Freeports: Minister’s equivocal response leaves way open to nuclear manufacturing facility

Scottish anti-nuclear campaigners were disappointed to learn that the
Scottish Net Zero Minister will not be opposed to a nuclear manufacturing
facility in a supposed Green Freeport. The Scottish Nuclear Free Local
Authorities and Highlands Against Nuclear Power wrote to Michael Matheson
MSP in the hope that he could provide reassurance that the two new Green
Freeports planned for Scotland in Forth and Cromarty & Inverness Firth
would not include a manufacturing plant to produce prefabricated parts for
supposedly Small Modular Reactors, such as the 470 MW design championed by
Rolls-Royce, but the Minister was unable to do so.

The Minister’s
assertion that the new Green Freeports could include businesses undertaking
work for the nuclear sector appears to both the NFLA and HANP a
contradiction of their stated aim to ‘contribute towards a just
transition to net-zero emissions by 2045’ and in so doing create
thousands of new green technology jobs.

Councillor Paul Leinster, Convenor
of NFLA Scottish, said: “We are glad that the Minister has once more
stated that there will be no new nuclear power generation on site, but
bemused that it would be acceptable for a manufacturing facility to be
located there that would make parts that would be shipped elsewhere to
enable nuclear power generation to take place outside Scotland. Nuclear is
not ‘green’; although the industry makes much of its claim that
electricity generation is carbon free this fails to take account of the
huge carbon footprint that any nuclear plant creates throughout its
lifecycle and once it is decommissioned.

 NFLA 16th March 2023

March 19, 2023 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Ukraine aims to produce full cycle of nuclear nuclear fuel production by 2026, exports to follow

WNN, 17 March 2023

Ukraine is intending to produce its own nuclear fuel within three years, with Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko saying that in the longer term the aim is to export to other countries.

Halushchenko, speaking during a visit with Energoatom President Petro Kotin to the plant where nuclear fuel will be produced, said: “Ukraine is one of the first countries that diversified the supply of nuclear fuel, and this made it possible to abandon its purchase from Russia. Our joint task with our American partners is to produce the appropriate types of fuel as soon as possible in order to displace Russia from the nuclear fuel market.”

He said he hoped that in the future Ukraine could become a supplier of nuclear fuel for countries including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland and Bulgaria.

…………… specialists will produce fuel components using Westinghouse technology.” These components will be used for the production, at the Westinghouse plant in Sweden, of nuclear fuel used by Energoatom’s nuclear power plants.

“It is planned that in three years we will start a full cycle of nuclear fuel production in Ukraine – 2026 is the date when we will be able to fully produce our Ukrainian fuel from components manufactured here……….

March 17, 2023 Posted by | politics, Ukraine | Leave a comment

UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt accused of ‘£20bn gamble’ on nuclear energy and carbon capture

Campaigners say chancellor is in the grip of the fossil fuel and nuclear lobbies and is ‘squandering taxpayers’ money’

Guardian, Alex Lawson Energy correspondent, 15 Mar 23

Jeremy Hunt has been accused of wagering a “dangerous gamble on unproven technologies” in an effort to decarbonise Britain’s energy industry after ploughing more than £20bn into a series of projects.

In his budget speech, the chancellor confirmed plans to spend the money over the next two decades on carbon capture and low carbon energy projects; announced a competition to co-fund small nuclear plants and launched a consultation to classify nuclear as “environmentally sustainable”.

The government has created Great British Nuclear, a body designed to ease the creation of nuclear projects which are regularly delayed and over budget, and set a target for nuclear to “provide up to one quarter of our electricity by 2050”.

Hunt, who has been under pressure to respond to Joe Biden’s $369bn (£306bn) of climate subsidies, said: “Increasing nuclear capacity is vital to meet our net zero obligations.”

However, climate campaigners attacked the drive, which had no giveaways for the solar or wind industries.

Ami McCarthy, Greenpeace UK’s political campaigner, said: “This misguided budget shows the stranglehold fossil fuel and nuclear lobbies have on this government. Why else would it take such a dangerous gamble on unproven technologies?

“Squandering taxpayers’ money on nuclear reactors that don’t even exist yet and fanciful carbon capture is irresponsible, and does nothing to reduce our emissions now.

“Committing to £20bn over 20 years is frankly pathetic compared to the green growth investments being made in the US, EU and China.”

Helen Clarkson, chief executive of Climate Group, said: “This spring budget overlooks cheap and clean renewable energy, and instead rebrands nuclear as ‘environmentally sustainable’ and throws cash at carbon capture technology. This was a missed opportunity to renew the UK’s commitment to climate leadership.”

………….. Stuart Murphy, founder of tidal energy specialist TPGen24, said: “There is nothing environmentally sustainable about a finite resource which leaves a legacy of hazardous waste.”………………….

March 16, 2023 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Something Is Missing From Americans’ Greatest Fears. It’s the Bomb.

NYT, By Serge Schmemann, Mr. Schmemann is a member of the editorial board., March 13, 2023

“……………………………………………………….. More than 30 years after the end of the Cold War, the threat of nuclear obliteration simply doesn’t rank among Americans’ greatest fears. For a while after Sept. 11, global terrorism reigned in the public’s mind as the most pressing threat. According to a 2022 survey by the Pew Research Center, cyberattacks are now considered the major global menace, followed by false information, China, Russia, the global economy, infectious diseases and climate change. My grandson, a college student, told me his peers don’t see a global nuclear war as a real danger today.

Yet even the sharply reduced Russian and American nuclear arsenals are still enough to wipe out much of the world, China is pushing hard to become the third nuclear superpower, and at least six other countries, including the uber-dictatorship North Korea, have nuclear weapons (the others: Britain, France, Israel, India and Pakistan).

Perversely, the complexity of today’s world has even generated something akin to nostalgia for a time when there were only two superpowers to deal with and stability depended on mutually assured destruction. But it is hard to be nostalgic about a time when President John Kennedy urged all Americans to prepare nuclear shelters (“The time to start is now”) and nuclear nightmares were the stuff of popular movies like “On the Beach,” “Fail Safe” and “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”

……………………………  nuclear arms controls are as needed today as they ever were, and not only with Moscow. Mr. Putin obliquely acknowledged that when, after saying on Feb. 21 that Russia would suspend participation in New START, Russia quickly added that the country would continue to respect the treaty’s limits on nuclear warheads and delivery systems.

…………………….. Even if the Doomsday Clock doesn’t move any closer to midnight, time is still running out. New START expires in three years. It’s hard to imagine negotiations on a new treaty so long as the war in Ukraine rages on. At the same time, China is racing ahead in an apparent bid to match the U.S. and Russian arsenals by 2035. So far, Beijing has rebuffed any efforts to negotiate limits with the United States, though it joined the United States, Russia, France and Britain in January 2022 in declaring that “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Even if Russia and China can be brought to the table, the parties will need a new way to define how many bombs each nation needs to deter the other two………………………………….more

March 16, 2023 Posted by | psychology and culture, USA | Leave a comment

UK political row over ‘expensive and unnecessary ‘ spending on nuclear power stations.

Tory Aberdeenshire MP accused of ‘failing to stand up for north-east’ in
nuclear power row. The UK Government has been hit with criticism over what
is being described as ‘expensive and unnecessary’ spending on nuclear power
stations, with the Aberdeenshire MP slated by the SNP’s Energy

A political row has broken out after an Aberdeenshire MP was
accused of prioritising ‘expensive and unnecessary’ nuclear stations over
carbon capture storage (CCS) and renewable energy. In a letter to Mr Bowie,
the MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, SNP energy spokesman Alan
Brown expressed concerns over updated costs to nuclear station Hinckley
Point C in Somerset.

The project is now slated to cost the taxpayers
£33billion, a 40 per cent real terms increase to the original 2016 estimate
of £18billion. Despite the soaring costs, it was revealed earlier this week
the UK government has not engaged with EDF over what that means for the
delivery of the project, while still pressing ahead for another new station
at Sizewell C.

Aberdeen Live 14th March 2023

March 15, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

$200billion nuclear submarine deal could cost the average Australian taxpayer about $13,000.

A $200billion nuclear submarine deal could cost the average Australian
taxpayer about $13,000. This is effectively the equivalent of every
Australian buying a new small car – an astonishing outlay on just a handful
of boats. But experts say the deal – despite the extraordinary price tag –
could be worth every cent.

Daily Mail 13th March 2023

March 14, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics | Leave a comment

Some ‘sober thinking’ remains in Ukraine as portions of population are in favor of peace talks

RFri, 10 Mar 2023

A senior Kiev official recently admitted that an increasing portion of the country’s population wants peace talks with Moscow

Some Ukrainians are realistic about future relations between Russia and Ukraine, which are bound to be restored in some capacity sooner or later, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov suggested on Friday.

Speaking to reporters, Peskov said that while it was premature to talk about a diplomatic settlement of the conflict, “there are still small streams of sober thinking” in Ukraine about ties between Moscow and Kiev, despite “the flood of propaganda filled with hatred of Russia” and “efforts to brainwash the Ukrainian population.”

Relations between the two countries are “inevitable, because we are neighbors, that’s obvious,” he added.

Peskov’s comments come after Aleksey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, admitted on Thursday that an increasing number of Ukrainians would like to see diplomatic engagement with Moscow to end the conflict. According to Danilov, such thinking is a “very dangerous tendency” and one that is even shared by some people in western Ukraine, a region that for decades has traditionally been ill-disposed towards Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly said that it is open to talks with Kiev on condition that the latter recognizes the “reality on the ground,” referring to the new status of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, as part of Russia. The former Ukrainian regions overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in public referendums last autumn.

However, also last autumn, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree prohibiting talks with the current Russian leadership. Later, he floated a ten-point “peace formula” that would require Moscow to withdraw all of its troops from the territory Kiev claims as its own. Russia rejected the proposal, claiming that it shows Ukraine’s unwillingness to find a solution to the crisis.

In January, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also said that while Moscow is “ready to respond to all serious proposals” to resolve the conflict, it is “the West which decides for Ukraine,” and it does not give Kiev any chance to make decisions on its own.

March 12, 2023 Posted by | politics, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Jennifer Granholm was Pwned (Pwned = utterly and humiliatingly defeated in a game) in the continuing Edward Teller tradition.

Medium, Albert Bates 7 March 23

Edward Teller still has avatars in the game.

In his farewell address, Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the “military-industrial-congressional complex” where one hand fed the other in a vicious cycle of self-aggrandizement at public expense. Of the expenses paid since 1960, none has been dearer than the habitable climate of Earth.

………………………………………………………………………. Direct Air Capture, Small Modular Reactors, and Fusion Energy — all are pwnings of solar by the National Laboratories, set in motion by Edward Teller.

National Labs make some sense if you are trying to solve some gargantuan problem that humanity faces — it would be good to have one for climate change, for instance — but today they mainly exist to keep engineers and physicists fully employed.

It is easy for the labs to lobby their funders, ultimately taxpayers, for ungodly sums for national security reasons, to prevent a brain drain, to advance basic science — even if the work being proposed is not only useless but mindlessly destructive, as long as it costs a lot and employs millions of little Edward Tellers. It will be good for the economy and will advance the cause of democracy, right?

History Rhymes

Edward Teller is commonly thought of as the “father of the hydrogen bomb” although he did not like the sobriquet. Born in Hungary in 1908, Teller came to the United States in the 1930s as one of the many so-called “Martians”, physicists being rescued from Europe to join what would become the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb. After the war, having successfully pwned his rival, Robert Oppenheimer, as a pinko, Teller co-founded the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and was its director for many years. He was author of the Red Scare, the Cold War expansion of nuclear arsenals, the Reagan “Star Wars” Strategic Defense Initiative, posthumously the Trump Space Force, and some hare-brained plans that thankfully never came to fruition, such as nuclear-powered airplanes and a plan to excavate an artificial harbor in Alaska using H-bombs.

In a recent Pugwash podcast, Professor Frank von Hippel, Co-Director of the Science and Global Security program at Princeton, explained how Teller was so masterful at pwning presidents and secretaries of Energy and Defense. In the 1990’s, von Hippel was an advisor to President Clinton, and later Obama. In the ’80s, he advised Gorbachev on how to wind down the Soviet nuclear threat. He reveals that Reagan and Gorbachev had agreed, mano a mano at the Reykjavik summit, to eliminate nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth only to have Reagan backpedal when the weapons labs balked. Reagan was pwned. Von Hippel tells how it later went during the Clinton years:

… the emphasis has been on energy but the research really was done for nuclear weapons design purposes … and the issue was a Nuclear Weapons Test Ban and where the weapons lab directors were insisting that they needed to do 15 more tests… there were reasons of safety or reliability that required them.

And the labs presented the tests that they wanted to do in this meeting that was called by the Secretary of Energy [Hazel Henderson] and I was not convinced so I brought along a retired weapons designer who was also not convinced. And it turns out the Secretary of Energy wasn’t convinced either.

And one of them [the directors] said, well if you would give us as much money for not testing as you’ve been giving us for testing we might be able to see it your way. And so that was the beginning of the science-based stockpile stewardship program and it was basically the budgets — some billions of dollars a year — that were offered to the weapons labs basically to do what they wanted.

This month’s issue of Wired magazine gushes over one outcome:

In December 2022 — a solid century since physicists first identified fusion as the source of star power — American scientists at the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, California, where ignition is a way of life, had a breakthrough – [much touted laser fusion experiment]…………………………………

In his Save the World podcast interview, von Hippel explained how the National Ignition Lab got its start:

……………………………………. they’ve been trying to ignite these little pellets for decades now and they finally got to the point where [for 80 nanoseconds] they got as much energy out of of the pellet from fusion energy as they put into it from laser energy and that was a breakthrough.

To get to a power plant is an enormous, enormous extrapolation. You’d have to do this many times a second — hundreds of times a second. You’d have to have affordable lasers that would do this repeatedly many hundreds of times a second and in the end, whether that would compete with other sources of energy is a stretch. Even a very simple nuclear power plant can’t compete with solar and wind power anymore, so whether this extravagant contraption could is extremely unlikely.

I watched the press conference where US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm [above] took to the stage and announced this world-changing breakthrough with visions of unlimited energy that would have no climate consequences. I could barely fathom how people could be so gullible as to believe it. Even when one of the lab directors got up and said that the breakthrough would really help their weapons research, apparently no-one saw through the ruse. Astonishing.

Wired’s head exploded in technocornucopian orgasm:

Fusion will, of course, rescue the environment and decarbonize planet Earth in a cool afternoon.………………………..

That 80-nanosecond burst was estimated to have cost $3.5 billion, which is likely an underestimate. It resulted in nuclear waste — principally tritium, which will linger for some 240 years as a lethal isotope. Gordon Edwards, President of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, replied to von Hippel that:

I think we have been we have been manipulated and a lot of people fell for it because you don’t think that the Secretary of Energy is going to go on public airwaves and simply give a false account of what actually happened. And that’s what we’re seeing. I think that the the scramble for money for fusion research, and even for fission research in terms of small modular reactors, is impelling people to misrepresent their product as a way of of getting governments to invest in it and the public to support it.

………………………………………………………. Rather than disguising a fundamentally military project like the Lawrence Lawrence Livermore Lab experiment as a peaceful energy thing when in fact it’s a military maintenance project, we have to restart the debate over nuclear weapons policy.

And thus we all drift, pwned like Granholm, stocked to the gills with horrific weaponry and new threats to unleash it out of MRGA (Make Russia Great Again) rage. Every new reactor built is both a bomb component factory and a wartime target. It makes plutonium. We gave up a critical 50 years chasing the peaceful atom myth — unlimited energy that’s safe, clean, too cheap to meter — when we could have had cheap, safe, clean renewable energy with no explosive potential and a tamer climate all that time. Maybe it is time we stop listening to Edward Teller’s ghost and listened to Justin Trudeau’s dad, Maybe it’s time we did something different for a change.

March 7, 2023 Posted by | politics, spinbuster, USA | 2 Comments

French MPs pave way to dropping legal limit on nuclear in energy mix

By Théo Bourgery-Gonse | 5 Mar 23,

The decision still needs to go through some legislative hoops before it is finalised – but it signals a stronger-than-ever willingness by the government to revamp nuclear power across the country. The Senate voted in favour of getting rid of the limit altogether in January.

A 2015 law to promote green growth limited the proportion of energy France could get from nuclear to 50% of its energy mix by 2035. With 69% of the country’s energy coming from nuclear, according to official data, the measure was thought to encourage investment in renewables and paved the way at the time of the closing of France’s iconic and then oldest Fessenheim plant in June 2020.

Mar 3, 2023

Lawmakers voted in favour of doing away with the 50% legal limit on nuclear in the country’s total energy mix on Thursday as part of France’s larger efforts to build newer, more modern nuclear plants.

The vote took place in the Committee for Economic Affairs on Thursday as part of a broader legislative package that would see the building of six new nuclear European Pressurised Reactors 2 (EPR2). The first one of those, EPR2 is expected to be operational in 2035………………………

March 7, 2023 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

A “nuclear alliance” in Europe, as France leads a pack of EU member states to count nuclear energy as “green and renewable” Others disagree.

The EU countries are at odds over the future role of nuclear energy. At a
meeting, eleven countries, including France, agreed to expand nuclear power
cooperation. Germany strictly rejects this.

Eleven member states of the
European Union have agreed on “enhanced cooperation” in the field of
nuclear energy. These include France, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland,
Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia and
Slovakia. At the meeting of EU energy ministers in Stockholm, they
specifically decided to promote “new joint projects” alongside existing
nuclear power plants. They also decided to work closely together in the
areas of research and security.

On the one hand, countries like Germany,
Luxembourg, Austria and Spain are strictly against the expansion of nuclear
power in Europe to achieve climate goals. On the other hand, the “nuclear
alliance” led by long-standing nuclear power France wants to further expand
nuclear power. According to a joint statement by the eleven EU countries,
nuclear energy is one of many tools to achieve climate goals. With nuclear
energy, electricity should be produced for the needs of consumers in order
to guarantee “security of supply” in the future. France is committed to
allowing its nuclear power to count toward renewable energy and “green”
hydrogen targets.

Tagesschau 28th Feb 2023

March 4, 2023 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

UK government’s commitment to nuclear power wavering, as Hinkley Point C’s costs and delays escalate?

EDF’s reactor for its first nuclear plant in the UK for 30 years arrives by
ship. While the arrival of the reactor could be a positive signal that
progress is being made on the nuclear rollout, some critics say that new
nuclear power will not come online soon enough to ease the current energy
bill crisis.

Hinkley Point C, for instance, is not expected to finish
construction until 2026 at the earliest. Meanwhile, energy bills are at
record highs and the Government has been urged to find a way to quickly
ease the burden of high energy costs.

Hinkley Point C’s repeated delays
have raised concerns as the Government has appeared to hedge its bets on
nuclear. The Somerset project was initially meant supposed to start
producing electricity by 2017 at a cost of £18billion. Now expected to cost
£32billion, the delays have thrown into question whether building more
nuclear plants is an appropriate response to the energy crisis.

speaking to, Dr Paul Dorfman, Associate Fellow SPRU
University of Sussex, explained: “The fact is, EDF EPR reactor design costs
have ramped everywhere it’s built with massive delays.”

Express 27th Feb 2023

March 2, 2023 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Boris Johnson champions small nuclear reactors

Conservative former Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced claims of wanting
his “old job back” as he accused Labour of being anti nuclear. Mr
Johnson urged the Energy Secretary, Grant Shapps, to “accelerate the tech
selection process” as he backed the rollout of British nuclear power. His
comments prompted Labour former Opposition leader, and shadow climate
change secretary, Ed Miliband, to joke: “It’s important to welcome
ex-party leaders to their place, but my only piece of advice is it’s
important to not want your old job back.” Mr Johnson said: “I
congratulate (Grant Shapps) on his continuing commitment to Great British
Nuclear, but is it not vital that we reaffirm the target of 24 gigawatts by
2050 and that we also accelerate the tech selection process, so that small
modular reactors whether made by Rolls Royce or anybody else (can commence
operating). “I think it would be wonderful if they came from this
country, are on contract with Great British Nuclear by the end of the year,
so that we can get back to the nuclear tradition that this country once had
and undo the baleful, luddite, Atomkraft Nein Danke legacy of the party
opposite.” Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle intervened during Mr
Johnson’s comments, saying: “I want to get everybody else in as well.”
Mr Shapps replied: “(Mr Johnson) is of course absolutely right about
this. He will know as the whole House will know that every single nuclear
reactor currently operational in the UK was given permission under the
Conservative Party and he is right to champion Great British nuclear and we
will get the nuclear industry going again. “Indeed, I was the first
energy secretary to put money, £700 million, into nuclear power since

Irish News 28th Feb 2023

March 2, 2023 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment