nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

USA brain drain, as climate scientists take up the invitation from France

France’s Climate Science Grants Want To Make The Planet Great Again–And Thousands Have Applied
France’s response to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord was to offer safe harbor for scientists and entrepreneurs who might lose funding in the U.S. For worried Americans, it might be a good deal. Fast Company,
BY ADELE PETERS ,  In the past, a young American climate researcher with a PhD might have applied to work at NASA or NOAA. Now, some are considering moving to Europe instead.

Since French president Emmanuel Macron announced the “Make Our Planet Great Again” initiative on June 1–inviting climate researchers, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits to come to France, hours after Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement–roughly 11,000 people have applied. The program offers $69 million in support to selected applicants; Germany recently announced that it will join France and offer another $17 million….

The grants are flexible, with no set limits on the amount of time someone can work in France or preference for particular research areas or businesses, as long as they address climate change and are judged to have strong potential…….

“In the U.S., the current administration seems poised to do real damage to U.S. climate science, both in terms of critical observations and the science that goes with it,” says Dennis Hartmann, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. “The effects would be long lasting, as young scientists, especially, would be forced out of the field, and critical observational information would be lost, and some long-term time series broken……

After France made its offer, others have followed: Germany plans to launch its own website as a partner to the initiative. The U.K. also launched a new fund–though not specifically focused on climate–designed to attract international researchers. Canada is similarly investing in a new program to attract international researchers.

France’s program, like the others, is open worldwide, but Americans make up many of the applicants, likely both because of the strength of American academia and business and the current political climate…..

France is hoping that the program can be part of helping the world meet–and even go beyond–the objectives of the Paris agreement to limit global warming. “If collectively, all over the world, we achieve to respect that agreement, it would be a great thing,” says the Elysée source. “Secondly, we want to improve research and an understanding of our world and climate phenomena. A third aspect is that we expect it to deliver hope . . . we do believe that cleantech can offer new jobs, new industries of the future.” https://www.fastcompany.com/40446915/frances-climate-science-grants-want-to-make-the-planet-great-again-and-thousands-have-applied

August 18, 2017 Posted by | climate change, France | Leave a comment

Radioactive materials unearthed by construction workers at the Flamanville nuclear site

Jersey Evening Post 15th Aug 2017, TRACES of radioactive material have been unearthed by construction workers
at the Flamanville nuclear site – less than 30 miles from Jersey’s
coast.

The incident has been reported to the French nuclear regulator ASN
– the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire – and has been classed as a
‘Significant Environmental Event’. Employees were said to have been in
the process of clearing 8,700 tons of non-nuclear waste as part of a larger
project to build a car park, when they came across nearly 100 suits used by
technicians working in zones exposed to nuclear activities. A spokesman for
the plant said that the construction had been stopped following the
incident and that some of the waste had been in the ground since 1989.
http://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2017/08/15/radioactive-material-unearthed-at-p

August 18, 2017 Posted by | environment, France | Leave a comment

French nuclear regulator ASN makes EDF review all nuclear components made by Areva’s foundry Creusot Forge

Times of India 16th Aug 2017, Utility EDF must review all components of its nuclear reactors that were
made by Areva’s foundry Creusot Forge by the end of 2018, French nuclear
regulator ASN said in a statement on Wednesday. The ASN did not say that
EDF would have to halt its reactors for the review, but the company would
have to provide the required documentation for each reactor two months
before it could restart the reactors following refueling. A spokeswoman for
EDF told Reuters the company does not expect any impact on power generation
and that the ASN’s timing had been integrated in its reactor maintenance
schedule.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/international-business/regulator-orders-review-of-creusot-made-components-on-edf-nuclear-reactors/articleshow/60090620.cms

August 18, 2017 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

France’s renewable energy development hampered by red tape

Bloomberg 4th Aug 2017, Some eighty days into Emmanuel Macron’s new job, Europe’s biggest
renewable energy companies are still waiting for the French president to
make good on campaign pledges to boost green power.

To meet French goals of doubling onshore wind and tripling solar solar power by 2023, Macron’s
government still needs to show it can support investments by helping
developers cut through the country’s bureaucratic red tape.

Companies including Italy’sEnel SpA, Germany’s EON SE and Innogy SE remain
reluctant to develop renewables in Europe’s third-biggest economy. “We
regularly check our existing markets and potential new markets on new
project opportunities,” Innogy’s spokeswoman Viola Baumann said in an
email response to questions from Bloomberg. “There’s no new development
and that also applies to France.”  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-04/green-power-still-tied-up-with-red-tape-in-macron-s-france

August 9, 2017 Posted by | France, renewable | Leave a comment

EDF’s profits fall due to nuclear woes: renewable energy investment could save it

EDF profits dented by nuclear woes,Telegraph,   28 JULY 2017 
Earnings at energy giant EDF have plummeted by a fifth in the first half of this year due to ongoing woes in its French fleet of nuclear reactors and lower profits from those in the UK.

The French state-backed group behind the UK’s first new nuclear plant in a generation, Hinkley Point C, has suffered a major setback to its domestic reactors, some of which have been closed for safety checks since October.

French nuclear power output fell by 3.9pc from the first half of last year to 197.2TWh in the six months to June 30, the group said. Despite a 4.2pc rise in UK EDF’s nuclear generation to 32.2TWh, the fleet of reactors were still a drain on earnings due to the weaker market price for electricity.

The slump in its two core markets wiped more than 20pc from its underlying earnings before interest, tax, debt and amortisation to €7bn (£6.3bn) but the group has assured investors that it remains on track to meet its guidance of between €13.7bn to €14.3bn for the year.

Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF’s chairman and chief executive, underlined the “unfavourable market context” but said the group’s move towards renewable energy was accelerating……http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/07/28/edf-profits-dented-nuclear-woes/

July 29, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

France to set out options for nuclear power closures, in 2018

France to spell out nuclear closure options in 2018, (Montel) Aia Helena Brnic, aia@montel.no, 26 July 2017 The French government will next year spell out different scenarios on how to cut the share of nuclear in its power mix, as the nation looks to step up its renewable generation.

 Energy minister Nicolas Hulot told parliament late on Tuesday that the different scenarios will be “put on the table” and debated at the government’s next multiannual energy programme (PPE) in 2018.

“I prefer that we put all the scenarios on the table in the PPE [next year] and look at what is realistic and what is not,” Hulot said at a hearing in the lower house of parliament, insisting that France will not be able to avoid nuclear reactors closures.

The minister had earlier said that France would need to close up to 25 out of its 58 operational reactors to achieve its nuclear objectives…..https://www.montel.no/StartPage/SubPage.aspx?id=815053

July 26, 2017 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

Hot weather causes France to cut nuclear power output: climate change is not good for nuclear reactors

France’s EDF cuts output at two nuclear reactors due to heatwave PARIS, July 18 (Reuters) – French utility EDF cut output at two reactors at its Tricastin nuclear plant in southern France on Tuesday, due to scorching temperatures, to reduce the amount of heated water from the reactors’ cooling system flowing into the Rhone river.

The Tricastin plant has four pressurised water reactors with an installed capacity of 915 megawatts (MW) each. EDF said on its website that output at reactors 1 and 3 was reduced by 735 MW and 651 MW respectively.

It said this was done for “environmental issues,” without giving further details.

A company spokeswoman said that, due to a heatwave in France on Tuesday, the company decided to reduce the amount of heated non-radioactive water from the cooling systems that flows into a canal near the plant and into the Rhone river.

“This was done so as not to increase the temperature of the already heated water and thus preserve plant and animal life,” she said, adding that a heavy thunderstorm forecast for the area later on Tuesday was expected to cool the situation…….http://www.reuters.com/article/edf-france-nuclearpower-idUSL5N1K94RO

July 21, 2017 Posted by | climate change, France | Leave a comment

France’s new government to work out plan for reducing nuclear power generation

French Minister Sticking to Planned Nuclear Power Cuts https://financialtribune.com/articles/energy/68481/french-minister-sticking-to-planned-nuclear-power-cuts., 17 July 17

France should define a clear roadmap to fulfill its pledge to cut the share of nuclear power in its electricity generation to 50% by 2025, French ecology minister said in an interview in the Sunday edition of regional daily Ouest-France.

A 2015 law requires France to reduce within eight years the share of atomic power generation to 50% from over 75% currently and include more renewable wind and solar generation, Reuters reported.

Nicolas Hulot also said in a radio interview that for France to meet that target, it might have to shut down up to 17 of its 58 nuclear reactors operated by state-controlled utility EDF.

His comments drew questions from observers on how nuclear-dependent France, a net power exporter in Europe, could possibly shut down 17 reactors and continue to guarantee adequate power supply.

Hulot clarified that he did not say 17 reactors must close, but that if the 2015 law were respected, the reactors would have to close.

Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron has maintained the target of cutting French nuclear production by 2025.

“We have to define realistic and possible scenarios, otherwise it will be brutal,” Hulot said. Hulot, an environmental campaigner who was appointed ecology minister by Macron, said that since the 2015 law was passed, little has been done and there was no clear strategy on how France would meet the 50% target.

“I want to engage in planned course of action, especially on a social and economic level,” Hulot said. “Nuclear power plants cannot be closed without taking into account the reality of jobs. We must model scenarios and build a roadmap.”

The closure of nuclear plants is a hot-button issue in France with trade unions and some political parties saying the plan would cripple the French nuclear sector.

Hulot also said state-controlled utility EDF would have to accelerate its development of renewable energies.

“The French authorities could stimulate the development of these energies by implementing tax incentives, easing regulatory processes and cutting the length of potential litigations,” he said.

 

July 17, 2017 Posted by | France, Legal, politics | Leave a comment

French President Emmanuel Macron assures Israel of ‘vigilance’ on Iran nuclear pact

Macron assures Israel of ‘vigilance’ on Iran nuclear pact,  https://www.thelocal.fr/20170716/macron-assures-israel-of-vigilance-on-iran-nuclear-pact  French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday assured visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his “vigilance” regarding the 2015 nuclear accord reached by Western powers with Iran.

Netanyahu “expressed his concerns regarding the Iranian regime,” Macron told reporters with Netanyahu at his side.
“I assured him of our vigilance, in particular over the strict implementation of the accord… in all its provisions.”
Netanyahu was a vocal opponent of the deal, which saw sanctions against Iran eased in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. The French presidency said Sunday’s meeting, the first official talks between Macron and Netanyahu, would be an occasion to “signal our lack of complacency towards Iran”.
Israel was rattled last month when Tehran launched fired six missiles from western Iran targeting bases of the Islamic State group in retaliation for attacks in Tehran that killed 17 people in the first Isis-claimed operations in the country.
Netanyahu has repeatedly said Iran is a threat to the Jewish state, the Middle East and potentially the world.

July 17, 2017 Posted by | France, Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

France’s EDF seeks bigger role in India’s nuclear power project

French firm EDF fresh proposal to NPCIL for Jaitapur nuclear power plant http://www.livemint.com/Industry/Fk9FEP4mqUECOnAu5MkIpK/French-firm-EDF-fresh-proposal-to-NPCIL-for-Jaitapur-nuclear.html 15 July 17

French firm EDF, which is to build six atomic reactors at Jaitapur, submits a fresh plan to NPCIL proposing to share a larger role in the engineering aspect of the project   New Delhi: A French firm, which is to build six atomic reactors at Jaitapur, has submitted a fresh plan to the NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation of India) proposing to share a larger role in the engineering aspect of the project, a top executive of the company said.

The firm, EDF, and NPCIL have also resolved to sign the general framework agreement (GFA) for the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP) by the end of 2017.

French President Emmanuel Macron is likely to visit India by the year-end and the two sides are working to fast-track the negotiations so that the GFA could be signed during that time, the EDF official, who did not wish to be quoted, said.

The EDF is to build six reactors, each with a capacity of 1650 MW each. When operational, the proposed plant, some 500km south of Mumbai, will be the largest nuclear power generation park in the country.

Construction of a nuclear plant is usually discussed in terms of the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction). The EDF has proposed to take care of the engineering part and a large chunk of the procurement of equipment which have to be sourced from abroad, the official said.

This position has been different from what Areva, which has been taken over by EDF, had proposed when the negotiations had initially begun. However, EDF insists that NPCIL should take care of the construction part as it has the experience of building the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP).

The NPCIL, on the other hand, wants EDF to take the full responsibility of EPC, citing the reason that the EPR technology—EPR refers to third generation pressurized water reactor design—is new to India.

A senior Indian government official, on condition of anonymity, pointed out that GFA hinges on three aspects—lower tariff, credit and a functional reference plant. No call has been taken on the fresh proposal given by the NPCIL, the official said.

“Discussions are on between the ministry of finance and the French treasury department to resolve the issues related to credit. Some part of it will be in euros while the rest will be in rupees,” the EDF official said.

The Flamanville EPR nuclear power reactor, which has been shown as a reference plant for the JNPP, is expected to be commissioned by 2018, the French official hoped. The EDF is constructing another EPR plant at Taishan in Guangdong province of China and it is expected to be operational by the end of this year, the official added.

July 17, 2017 Posted by | France, marketing | Leave a comment

French nuclear energy giant ENGIE now buying into UK’s offshore wind energy market

Modern Power Systems 13th July 2017,Engie has entered the UK’s offshore wind energy market with a deal to buy
a 23 per cent stake in the Moray East project in Scotland. The French
energy giant has purchased the stake from EDP Renewables (EDPR) for £21
million and will participate in the development and operation of the 1.1 GW
project.

EDPR and Engie are already partnering in the development of
offshore wind energy projects in France and Portugal, including floating
offshore wind projects. The Moray East project comprises three proposed
offshore wind farms located off the Caithness coast. The projects were
granted development consent in March 2014 and are expected to participate
in the UK’s CFD tender process. http://www.modernpowersystems.com/news/newsengie-buys-into-uk-offshore-wind-5870459

July 17, 2017 Posted by | France, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Despite denunciation by U.S., UK and France, the UN nuclear ban treaty marks the beginning of the end of the nuclear age.

U.S., UK and France Denounce Nuclear Ban Treaty, CounterPunch,  In a joint press statement, issued on July 7, 2017, the day the treaty was adopted, the U.S., UK and France stated, “We do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it.” Seriously? Rather than supporting the countries that came together and hammered out the treaty, the three countries argued: “This initiative clearly disregards the realities of the international security environment.”  Rather than taking a leadership role in the negotiations, they protested the talks and the resulting treaty banning nuclear weapons. They chose hubris over wisdom, might over right.

They based their opposition on their belief that the treaty is “incompatible with the policy of nuclear deterrence, which has been essential to keeping the peace in Europe and North Asia for over 70 years.” Others would take issue with their conclusion, arguing that, in addition to overlooking the Korean War and other smaller wars, the peace in Europe and North Asia has been kept not because of nuclear deterrence but in spite of it.

The occasions on which nuclear deterrence has come close to failure, including during the Cuban missile crisis, are well known. The absolute belief of the U.S., UK and France in nuclear deterrence seems more theological than practical……

The three countries reiterate their commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but do not mention their own obligation under that treaty to pursue negotiations in good faith for an end to the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament. ….

If the U.S., UK and France were truly interested in promoting “international peace, stability and security” as they claim, they would be seeking all available avenues to eliminate nuclear weapons from the world, rather than planning to modernize and enhance their own nuclear arsenals over the coming decades.

These three nuclear-armed countries, as well as the other six nuclear-armed countries, continue to rely upon the false idol of nuclear weapons, justified by nuclear deterrence. In doing so, they continue to run the risk of destroying civilization, or worse.

The 122 nations that adopted the nuclear ban treaty, on the other hand, acted on behalf of every citizen of the world who values the future of humanity and our planet, and should be commended for what they have accomplished.

The new treaty will open for signatures in September 2017, and will enter into force when 50 countries have acceded to it. It provides an alternative vision for the human future, one in which nuclear weapons are seen for the threat they pose to all humanity, one in which nuclear possessors will be stigmatized for the threats they pose to all life. Despite the resistance of the U.S., UK and France, the nuclear ban treaty marks the beginning of the end of the nuclear age.

David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org).  He is the author of Zero: The Case for Nuclear Weapons Abolition.  https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/13/u-s-uk-and-france-denounce-nuclear-ban-treaty/

July 15, 2017 Posted by | France, UK, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

French government spends €2.0 billion and then €2.5 billion – steps in restructuring nuclear corporation AREVA

 

World Nuclear News 13th July 2017, The restructuring of France’s Areva group has taken a step forward with the implementation of a €2.0 billion ($2.3 billion) capital injection from the French state.

NewCo – Areva’s separated nuclear fuel cycle activities -is also to receive a €2.5 billion capital increase from the state by the end of this month.  http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-Areva-implements-capital-increases-1307174.html

July 15, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics | Leave a comment

Franc e’s Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) has doubts about EDF’s statements on financing of its decommissioning costs

Actu Environnement 12th July 2017 The Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) considers that the EDF file concerning the financing of its decommissioning costs “does not provide sufficient
information to enable it to take a position on the completeness of the
assessment”.

It would like the electrician to explain his calculations and
reconsider certain assumptions. It also considers it necessary for EDF to
present the reactor-to-reactor decommissioning assumptions, rather than an
overall cost estimate extrapolated from the study of a site.

This is themain conclusion of an ASN opinion on the financing of long-term nuclear
loads by French operators published on Wednesday 12 July. This opinion
comes as the level of provisions made up by EDF to cover the dismantling of
its reactors is questioned.

In February, a report from the NationalAssembly estimated that the dismantling costs calculated by EDF revealed a”plausible underestimation”. MEPs criticized among other things “the
optimistic assumptions [and] a number of heavy expenses neglected”.

Unlikemost operators of nuclear installations, EDF does not present an
installation-by-facility assessment. ASN can not therefore analyze the
electrician’s file accurately. For the time being, EDF is relying on the
“DA09” study, which assesses future loads by extrapolating a dismantling
scenario for the four 900-megawatt reactors at the Dampierre (Loiret)
plant. An audit requested by the ministry in charge of energy validated the
method in 2015.

However, the ASN refuses to rule on the accuracy of this
figure since it did not have access to study DA09 or to auditing. In this
case, the Nuclear Constable does not, as a matter of principle, oppose an
assessment to the entire fleet of an assessment based on the dismantling of
a reactor, but it wishes to have access to the documents before making a
decision. Before validating EDF’s estimates, ASN wants to study precisely
two points: the hypotheses considered for the dismantling of the Dampierre
reactor and the extrapolation method at each reactor.
https://www.actu-environnement.com/ae/news/asn-refuse-valider-evaluation-finaniere-demantellement-edf-29383.php4

July 15, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics | Leave a comment

France’s EDF might have to shut down 17 nuclear reactors

EDF May Have to Shut Up to 17 Reactors, Ecology Minister Says, Bloomberg, By Francois De Beaupuy, July 10, 2017, 

  • Government plans to cut share of atomic power to 50% by 2025
  • Nuclear accounted for 72% of French electricity output in 2016

Electricite de France SA, the state-controlled operator of 58 nuclear reactors in France, may have to shut as many as 17 to fulfill government plans to reduce the share of atomic power in the country’s electricity output to 50 percent by 2025, Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot said…….

While the government has pledged to boost renewables, it’s not yet evident how they would make up for the shutdown of almost a third of EDF’s reactors. The state would also face calls from the company to compensate it for potential loss of revenue and the cost of dismantling earlier than planned.

In January, EDF reached a compromise with the government in which the utility would receive 490 million euros ($559 million) and possible subsequent payments if the two reactors of the Fessenheim nuclear plant are taken offline.https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-10/edf-may-have-to-shut-up-to-17-reactors-ecology-minister-says

July 14, 2017 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment