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France tries to label nuclear as “renewable” in push to the EU for nuclear-produced hydrogen

France leads push for EU to boost nuclear-produced hydrogen

By Kate Abnett 4 Feb 23, BRUSSELS, Feb 3 (Reuters) – France is leading a campaign for the European Union to recognise low-carbon hydrogen produced from nuclear power in its renewable energy rules, but some member states oppose the idea for fear of undermining efforts to quickly scale up wind and solar.

Ministers from France, Poland, the Czech Republic and six other EU countries wrote to the European Commission this week urging it to open up EU renewable energy targets to include hydrogen produced from nuclear energy.

EU countries and lawmakers have been preparing for negotiations next week on the law, which will guide the pace of Europe’s renewable energy expansion this decade.

EU Parliament’s lead negotiator has asked for next week’s talks to be delayed because the European Commission has still not published rules to define “renewable” hydrogen more clearly, which were scheduled for late last year, EU officials said on Friday……………

The nine countries’ letter, seen by Reuters, said the EU should include nuclear energy – which is low-carbon, but not renewable. https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/france-leads-push-eu-boost-nuclear-produced-hydrogen-2023-02-03/

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February 5, 2023 Posted by | France, politics international | Leave a comment

France approves study on extending nuclear reactors’ life

 https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/french-presidency-green-light-looking-into-extending-lifespan-existing-nuclear-2023-02-03/

PARIS, Feb 3 (Reuters) – France has approved looking into the possibility of extending the lifespan of nuclear reactors to 60 years and beyond if safety rules allow it, the French Presidency said.

The Presidency announced the move in a statement after President Emmanuel Macron, who has announced plans to build at least six new reactors by 2050, on Friday chaired the first of a series of meetings on nuclear policy.

France historically has relied on nuclear power for around 70% of its energy, although the share is likely to have fallen last year as the nuclear fleet suffered repeated outages.

A public debate about the six new EPR2 nuclear reactors is set for the end of February.

The commissioning schedule for the new reactors will be established by a bill that will determine the speed of the procedures near the existing nuclear sites and the operation of the existing facilities, the statement said.

The bill is expected to reduce delays in administrative procedure and allow for progress on the construction sites.

The statement also announced plans for the construction of the first pilot of a small advanced nuclear reactor by the 2030s.

The extension of the plants will also require the launch of an examination of the issue of the fuel cycle, including the waste management, the statement said.

Several studies are set to be launched on the matter and presented at the next meeting of the nuclear council in June 2023, the statement said. The presentation of the studies is expected to be followed with a debate in Parliament on the development of energy and climate laws.

February 5, 2023 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

France what to do as nuclear waste site risks saturation point?

Should saturation happen, France’s reactors would have nowhere to place their spent fuel and would have to shut down

France seeks strategy as nuclear waste site risks saturation point

Reuters, By Benjamin Mallet 3 Feb 23

  • Summary
  • Macron to chair Council on Nuclear Policy on Friday
  • Macron has announced plan for at least six new nuclear reactors
  • EDF working on extra refrigerated pool
  • France also considering plan to bury waste in clay

LA HAGUE, France, Feb 3 (Reuters) – At a nuclear waste site in Normandy, robotic arms guided by technicians behind a protective shield manoeuvre a pipe that will turn radioactive chemicals into glass as France seeks to make safe the byproducts of its growing reliance on atomic power.

The fuel-cooling pools in La Hague, on the country’s northwestern tip, could be full by the end of the decade and state-owned Orano, which runs them, says the government needs to outline a long-term strategy to modernise its ageing facilities no later than 2025.

While more nuclear energy can help France and other countries to reduce planet-warming emissions, environmental campaigners say it replaces one problem with another.

To seek solutions, President Emmanuel Macron, who has announced plans to build at least six new reactors by 2050, on Friday chairs the first of a series of meetings on nuclear policy that will discuss investments and waste recycling.

“We can’t have a responsible nuclear policy without taking into account the handling of used fuel and waste. It’s a subject we can’t sweep under the rug,” a government adviser told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity…….

La Hague is the country’s sole site able to process and partially recycle used nuclear fuel.

France historically has relied on nuclear power for around 70% of its energy, although the share is likely to have fallen last year as the nuclear fleet suffered repeated outages.

Since the launch of the site at La Hague in 1976, it has treated nearly 40,000 tonnes of radioactive material and recycled some into nuclear fuel that can be re-used. The waste that cannot be recycled is mixed with hardening slices of glass and buried for short-term storage underground.

But its four existing cooling pools for spent fuel rods and recycled fuel that has been reused risk saturation by 2030, according to French power giant EDF (EDF.PA), which runs France’s 56-strong fleet of reactors, the world’s second biggest after the United States.

Should saturation happen, France’s reactors would have nowhere to place their spent fuel and would have to shut down – a worst-case scenario that led France’s Court of Audit to designate La Hague as “an important vulnerability point” in 2019.

COOL POOLS AND DEEP CLAY

EDF is hurrying to build an extra refrigerated pool at La Hague, at a cost of 1.25 billion euros ($1.37 billion), to store spent nuclear fuel – a first step before the waste can be treated – but that will not be ready until 2034 at the earliest.

Meanwhile, France’s national agency for managing nuclear waste last month requested approval for a project to store permanently high-level radioactive waste.

The plan, called Cigéo, would involve placing the waste 500 metres (1,640 ft) below ground in a clay formation in eastern France.

Construction is expected in 2027 if it gets approval. Among those opposed to it are residents of the nearby village of Bure and anti-nuclear campaigners

………… Orano, for which EDF accounts for 95% of its recycling business, says it needs clear direction from the government no later than 2025, to give it time to plan the necessary investments.

The costs are likely to be high. Just keeping up with current operations at La Hague costs nearly 300 million euros a year.

Options EDF and Orano are considering include finding a way to recycle the used fuel more than once, but critics say the recycling itself creates more radioactive waste and is not a long-term solution. For now, the backup plan is to fit more fuel containers into the existing pools.

After being cooled in a pool for about seven years, used nuclear fuel is separated into non-recyclable leftovers that are turned into glass (4% of the material), plutonium (1%) to create a new nuclear fuel called MOX, on which around 40% of France’s reactors can run, and reprocessed uranium (95%).

Options EDF and Orano are considering include finding a way to recycle the used fuel more than once, but critics say the recycling itself creates more radioactive waste and is not a long-term solution. For now, the backup plan is to fit more fuel containers into the existing pools.

After being cooled in a pool for about seven years, used nuclear fuel is separated into non-recyclable leftovers that are turned into glass (4% of the material), plutonium (1%) to create a new nuclear fuel called MOX, on which around 40% of France’s reactors can run, and reprocessed uranium (95%).

The uranium in the past was sent to Russia for re-enrichment and return for use in some EDF reactors, but EDF stopped doing that in 2013 as it was too costly.

In spite of the war in Ukraine, which has made many in the West avoid doing business with Russia, EDF is expected to resume sending uranium to Russia this year as the only country able to process it. It declined to confirm to Reuters it would do so.

The facility at La Hague, with its 1980s-era buildings and Star Wars-style control rooms, has its limitations.

“If we had to process MOX fuel in large quantities, the facility today isn’t adapted for it,” Varin said. “For multi-cycle recycling, the technology is not the same, so the modernisation or replacement of installations” would require “significant” investments, he said.

($1 = 0.9098 euros)  https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/france-seeks-strategy-nuclear-waste-site-risks-saturation-point-2023-02-03/

February 3, 2023 Posted by | France, wastes | Leave a comment

French nuclear availability reduced by 1.1 GW as strike gets under way– EDF

https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/french-nuclear-availability-reduced-by-1.1-gw-as-strike-gets-under-way-edfForrest Crellin for Reuters  30 jan 23

PARIS, Jan 30 (Reuters) – French nuclear power availability has been reduced by 1.1 gigawatts as production at four reactors lowered, the outage table of state-controlled nuclear group EDF showed on Monday as a strike over pension reforms got under way.

January 31, 2023 Posted by | employment, France | Leave a comment

Cracking Under Pressure: Inside the Race to Fix France’s Nuclear Plants

Macron’s government wants to help EDF build six new large reactors and begin preparatory studies on another eight units by 2050.

But building 14 new reactors is “absolutely not within EDF’s reach with its current balance sheet,” said Celine Cherubin, a senior credit officer at Moody’s Investors Service………..

The plan to fix seven safety cooling systems in 2023 is “not the end of the story,”… “It’s possible that we have to carry long and complex works. I think that 2023, ’24 and ’25 will continue to entail issues related to the stress corrosion.”

Yahoo News, Francois De Beaupuy, Sat, January 28, With assistance from Samuel Dodge and Patricia Suzara.

(Bloomberg) — Behind layers of security and a thick concrete wall, a team of welders work in shifts to fix the crippled Penly nuclear plant in northern France. Sweating under protective gear, they’re replacing cracked pipes in the emergency cooling system which protects against a reactor meltdown.

Each weld takes at least three days to complete, with workers often on their knees or backs to reach for the correct angle. Even in radiation suits, health regulations limit work in that environment to a maximum 40 hours a year.

The complicated procedures, replicated across sites this winter, have hampered the ability of Electricite de France SA to get its reactors back online after lengthy shutdowns.

Deadlines have slipped. The two Penly reactors were scheduled to be back online this month and next. Instead, EDF has been forced to delay the restarts to May and June.

“These are complex situations, in a noisy and radioactive environment,” Laurent Marquis, a manager at Altrad Group-Endel which is coordinating the repairs for EDF at Penly, said last month, before the restarts were pushed back. “Workers can sometimes only hold their position for just a few minutes before they need to be replaced.”

The power station, below a cliff on France’s northern coast, normally provides electricity for about 3.6 million households. Its two reactors have been, in effect, grounded by faulty plumbing — the same cracked pipes first discovered by EDF at another plant in late 2021. That reactor, at Civaux in central France, only came back online on Wednesday after extensive repairs.

The discoveries plunged the operator into a crisis with repercussions for all of Europe. EDF called it an “annus horribilis,” and from early May to late October, about half of its 56 reactors sat idle due to the repair and maintenance backlog.

It flipped France from Europe’s biggest electricity exporter into a net importer last year, just as the continent needed it more than ever. After gas imports from Russia dried up, energy prices soared, governments spent billions helping consumers with their bills and Europe was threatened with shortages and blackouts.

So far, Europe has avoided the worst-case scenario, thanks to efforts to conserve energy and a relatively mild winter that reduced heating demand

But the crisis is far from over, and EDF needs to find a way to avoid a repeat next winter. That challenge — finding problems, fixing them, doing checks — is already a mammoth task, and it’s being compounded by financial issues and staff shortages………………………………………………………….

By May, the utility had concluded that 16 of its reactors had pipes more prone to stress corrosion. Significantly, they were actually the group’s newest reactors, where the French nuclear plant builder Framatome — a unit of EDF — had modified the original Westinghouse Electric Co. design used for the 40 older units………………………………….

EDF has a history of missed maintenance deadlines, which an external audit published in June blamed on inadequate management of data, staff shortfalls and inexperienced teams in charge of turnarounds.


The company is still trying to figure out the speed at which cracks progress through pipes once they appear, meaning it faces tighter, more frequent monitoring of its reactors. Future setbacks can’t be ruled out.

The plan to fix seven safety cooling systems in 2023 is “not the end of the story,” Cedric Lewandowski, EDF’s senior executive vice-president for nuclear and thermal production, said at a parliamentary hearing this month. “It’s possible that we have to carry long and complex works. I think that 2023, ’24 and ’25 will continue to entail issues related to the stress corrosion.”

If that caps nuclear output, that means less power for France, and less to export to Europe.

Compounding the pipe issues is the broader maintenance work needed on what’s an aging fleet. Most of EDF’s reactors were built from the late 70s to the mid-90s, and now require longer down time. The utility wants to coincide the corrosion repairs with the other halts to maintain production, Lewandowski said.

On top of that, the utility is still repairing 122 faulty welds at a new flagship reactor in Flamanville in Normandy, which it wants to commission in the first half of 2024. The project is already over a decade behind schedule, and about €10 billion over budget.

All of which raises significant questions for EDF and the French government……………..

Macron’s government wants to help EDF build six new large reactors and begin preparatory studies on another eight units by 2050.

But building 14 new reactors is “absolutely not within EDF’s reach with its current balance sheet,” said Celine Cherubin, a senior credit officer at Moody’s Investors Service………………………..

The bigger question is whether EDF and the government can now reverse the sense of decline in France’s nuclear industry.

January 29, 2023 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

French nuclear safety needs review ahead of reactor lifespan extensions, newbuilds.

 https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/french-nuclear-safety-needs-review-ahead-reactor-lifespan-extensions-newbuilds-2023-01-23/ PARIS, Jan 23 (Reuters) – France’s nuclear safety needs a global and systemic review as President Emmanuel Macron’s government prepares to extend the lifespan of the existing fleet while planning to build new reactors, nuclear agency ASN said on Monday.

Bernard Doroszczuk, head of the French nuclear safety watchdog, also told a news conference that utility EDF (EDF.PA) must explain by end-2024 how it plans to extend the life of its nuclear plants up to or beyond 60 years, in order to formulate a first position on the issue within a further two years.

Doroszczuk said a nuclear safety review needs to anticipate the effects of ageing on nuclear installations as well as new challenges posed by climate change.

The government plans to present new energy and climate legislation this summer that will serve as the legislative framework for plans announced by Macron in February 2022 to start construction of at least six new EPR 2 nuclear reactors and to extend the lifespan of as many reactors as possible.

“We need to identify for which components there may be a limit to their operating lifespan,” Doroszczuk said, adding that some components, such as the reactor vessel and the reactor building, cannot be replaced while other components are hard to replace.

“This is not something that can be worked out on the back of an envelope, we cannot decide in a few months whether it is feasible to go beyond 60 years,” he said.

As well as better anticipating the long-term consequences of climate change on the current and future fleet, ASN also wants the new climate and energy law to tackle the issue of treatment and recycling of spent nuclar fuel.

During last year’s heatwave, the watchdog had to grant waivers in order to let certain reactors continue to operate – which had not happened since 2003.

The agency added that EDF unit Framatome had asked it to delay the replacement of the vessel cover of the EPR reactor under construction in Flamanville so it coincided with the first fuel reloading rather than replacing it at the end of 2024 as currently planned.

ASN said that the safety of French nuclear installations overall in 2022 was satisfactory, despite corrosion problems detected on some reactors.

January 24, 2023 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

French government moves to fully nationalise the nuclear industry

The French state acquired enough EDF shares on the market to start
squeeze-out proceedings as it fully nationalises the nuclear energy giant,
the finance ministry said on Friday.

The government now holds 92.71% of
voting rights in EDF, the ministry said, marking the successful end of the
full takeover proceedings, launched by President Emmanuel Macron’s
government last summer, which cost Paris some $10 million.

Debt-laden EDF, Europe’s biggest nuclear power operator, runs France’s nuclear reactor
fleet, some hydropower plants and other production sites and supplies
millions of households with electricity. Its de-listing from the Paris
stock market will be the end of an era for the utility which was partially
privatised in 2005, when a chunk of its share capital was floated at 33
euros ($35.82) a share.

Reuters 20th Jan 2023

https://www.reuters.com/article/edf-nationalisation/update-1-france-now-holds-over-90-in-edf-allowing-for-squeeze-out-ministry-says-idUSL1N3451XR

January 23, 2023 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

The French nuclear sector up against the wall in terms of recruitment.

The French nuclear sector up against the wall in terms of recruitment. To
build the six reactors announced by the government, the sector must recruit
at least 10,000 people per year until 2030.

L’usinenouvelle 18th Jan 2023

https://www.usinenouvelle.com/editorial/la-filiere-francaise-du-nucleaire-au-pied-du-mur-en-matiere-de-recrutements.N2084316

January 23, 2023 Posted by | employment, France | Leave a comment

France issues a 10,000-page dossier to convince people of the safety of the Cigeo nuclear waste site

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Nuclear waste: a 10,000-page dossier to convince people of the safety of
the Cigeo landfill site.

The National Agency for the Management of
Radioactive Waste has submitted a creation authorization application which
opens the way to an investigation phase lasting several years.

This is a major step in view of the possible burial underground in the east of
France, on a still distant horizon, of the most dangerous nuclear waste.


The National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (Andra) announced on
Tuesday, January 17, that it had officially sent the Ministry of Energy
Transition its request for authorization to create (DAC) for the Cigéo
deep geological disposal center on Monday. This file, heavy with 10,000
pages, opens the way to several years of investigation which could lead to
a green light from the authorities for the construction of infrastructures,
on land located on the border of the departments of Meuse and Haute- Marl.

Le Monde 17th Jan 2023

https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2023/01/17/dechets-nucleaires-un-dossier-de-10-000-pages-pour-convaincre-de-la-surete-du-site-d-enfouissement-de-cigeo_6158247_3244.html

January 22, 2023 Posted by | France, wastes | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear waste agency applies to create a long-term underground storage in Eastern France.

France’s national agency for managing nuclear waste has applied to the
ministry of ecological transition for the creation of a project for the
long-term storage of high-level radioactive waste, the agency said on
Tuesday. The application, which was filed on Monday, represents a new phase
in which French authorities will examine the plan for safety to ensure it
guards against radioactive leaks.

The project, called Cigéo, calls for the
waste to be stored 500 metres below ground in the Callovo-Oxfordian clay
formation in eastern France. Currently the waste is temporarily stored on
the surface, the agency said. Construction could begin as soon as 2027 if
the French nuclear safety authority approves the application. Authorisation
for an industrial pilot phase to store some waste could come from 2035 to
2040, with full operational approval between 2040 and 2050, the agency
said. Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands are also
examining the construction of long-term high-level radioactive waste
storage sites.

Reuters 17th Jan 2023

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/french-nuclear-waste-agency-applies-new-storage-site-2023-01-17/

January 19, 2023 Posted by | France, wastes | Leave a comment

France’s new law on nuclear energy will be a gift to the nuclear lobby.

The new nuclear law, under debate in the Senate, is a gift offered to the atom lobby. And the majority on the right could further strengthen it. The public debate on the creation of new EPR2 nuclear reactors is not yet over and the government already wants to speed up their construction.

OnTuesday, January 17, his bill for an “ambitious and sustainable” nuclear revival will be presented to the Senate. The text proposes various technical measures to simplify the development of EPR2s . But above all, it sends a political signal: the government is in working order to advance its cause. Even if it means radically changing the deadlines for administrative authorizations, the legal procedures and the frameworks of environmental democracy.

When presenting her bill to the Economic Affairs Committee , Agnès Pannier-Runacher first began by apologizing. “I’m sorry, it’s a horribly technical text… But the modalities for reviving nuclear power
will go through unattractive considerations , ” she continued. For her, the current difficulties of nuclear power – its slowness and its high cost – would be, above all, linked to bureaucratic and normative heavinesses that it would be a question of doing away with.

“It’s important that the cost of this new program be competitive, which is much easier said than done ,” she
said. Renewable energies have an exit cost of 60 to 80 euros (MWh) and this is the price level that should be had for nuclear power.

Reporterre 17th Jan 2023 https://reporterre.net/Tapis-rouge-pour-le-nucleaire-au-Senat

January 18, 2023 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

Poland’s energy company agrees to buy France’s NOT YET DESIGNED so-called “small” Nuward nuclear reactor!

Poland’s Respect Energy considers deploying French SMR design

WNN, 16 January 2023

Polish renewable energy trader Respect Energy has signed an agreement with EDF to cooperate on the development of nuclear power projects in Poland based on France’s Nuward small modular reactor (SMR) technology.

“This agreement marks Respect Energy’s and EDF’s firm intention to jointly proceed with the development of SMR projects in Poland and confirms the strong interest towards Nuward technology which has been selected by the energy trader to expand its footprint in the nuclear energy field,” the companies said in a joint statement. “Respect Energy and EDF will now jointly start the evaluation process of specific new greenfield sites and continue to work on detailing the business and financing plans for this endeavour.”

In October 2021, EDF made an offer to the Polish government to build as many as six EPR units. The “non-binding preliminary offer” represented a range of options for Poland. It detailed the engineering, procurement and construction that would be needed for four to six EPR units, at either two or three sites. The EPR units would produce 1650 MWe each if selected – the Polish government announced late last year that it had selected Westinghouse technology for at least the first three of its planned fleet of reactors……………….

The Nuward project was launched in September 2019 by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), EDF, Naval Group and TechnicAtome. The Nuward – consisting of a 340 MWe SMR plant with two pressurised water reactors (PWRs) of 170 MWe each – has been jointly developed using France’s experience in PWRs……………..

Nuward is currently in the conceptual design phase, which focuses on choosing the major technical features while delivering real competitive advantages. Belgian engineering firm Tractebel was contracted in May last year to conduct studies for the completion of the conceptual design of “the first SMR in the European Union”.

The next phase of the project, the basic design completion, is expected to start this year and to be completed by 2025. The design should be in the “advanced concept phase” between 2025 and 2030, during which time Nuward is expected to be certified and the supply chain developed.

Construction of a demonstration Nuward SMR is expected to start in 2030. The construction of that unit is anticipated to take three years.

In June, it was announced the Nuward design will be the case study for a European early joint regulatory review led by the French nuclear safety regulator with the participation of the Czech and Finnish nuclear regulators…..  https://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Poland-s-Respect-Energy-considers-deploying-French

January 17, 2023 Posted by | France, marketing | Leave a comment

Prolonged outages of France’s nuclear reactors.

French power prices advanced after the start of two nuclear reactors were
pushed back, denting the nation’s ramp up in capacity at a time they are
most needed. French power for next month gained the most in two weeks,
rising as much as 3.9%. An oncoming cold snap in western Europe and rising
natural gas prices also provided bullish sentiment for electricity traders
across the region.

The prolonged outages will set back the recovery of the
nation’s nuclear capacity, which is the backbone of Europe’s integrated
power system. Availability at EDF’s nuclear fleet has increased in recent
weeks and is near the highest level in a year. The Chooz-1 unit is now due
to start on Feb 28, a month later than planned, while Blayais-1 was delayed
by 10 days to Feb. 11, according to data submitted to the grid.

Bloomberg 13th Jan 2023

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-13/edf-delays-start-of-two-french-reactors-as-maintenance-drags-on

January 17, 2023 Posted by | ENERGY, France | Leave a comment

European Energy Crisis: France Close to Electricity Rationing Over Problems with Local Nuclear Plants

PETER CADDLE1 Jan 2023456

France is uncomfortably close to energy rationing as a result of issues it is having with some of its nuclear power plants, a report by The Times has claimed.

The UK newspaper has alleged that Emmanuel Macron’s France is currently coming close to having to ration energy due to a number of its nuclear power plants being taken offline over the last number of months.

If true, the news does not bode well for many countries in Europe that rely upon France for some of their electricity, with both the UK and Germany depending on the country for some of their power.

According to the report published on Sunday, the reduction in the number of nuclear power plants in operation in the country has put extreme strain on the country’s national power grid.

Warmer weather has since meant that, despite supply issues, energy rationing will likely not be needed, though the country’s power watchdog has warned that a sudden cold snap could change this.

“Until January 15, we know that we will have no difficulty,” The Times reports Emmanuelle Wargon, who serves as President of France’s Energy Regulation Commission, as saying.

While the widespread availability of nuclear power has overall been a boon for France at a time when gas and oil have gotten rapidly more scarce in Europe, issues with various plants throughout the country have seen production fall to worryingly low levels in recent weeks.

With dangerous cracks being discovered in a number of major power stations, up to half of the country’s arsenal of nuclear facilities has been taken offline, dramatically reducing the amount of electricity the country can produce.

Although the state quickly deployed a veritable army of engineers to address the problems, temporary damage to production levels nevertheless forced it to pull back on supplying its European neighbours, with the country requesting last month to cut off the UK from French energy exports in the hopes of saving electricity….  https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2023/01/01/european-energy-crisis-france-close-to-electricity-rationing-over-problems-with-local-nuclear-plants/

January 4, 2023 Posted by | ENERGY, France | Leave a comment

Marie Curie’s Belongings Will Be Radioactive For Another 1,500 Years

By BARBARA TASCH, BUSINESS INSIDER,  https://www.sciencealert.com/these-personal-effects-of-marie-curie-will-be-radioactive-for-another-1-500-years?fbclid=IwAR2mz5r9iMmKfNoIYm1ddsmsoLUqMZn7a84pCdZYKp5aYi1TWup0Tl0vkN4 21 Aug 2015

Marie Curie, known as the ‘mother of modern physics’, died from aplastic anaemia, a rare condition linked to high levels of exposure to her famed discoveries, the radioactive elements polonium and radium.

Curie, the first and only woman to win a Nobel Prize in two different fields (physics and chemistry), furthered the research of French physicist Henri Becquerel, who in 1896 discovered that the element uranium emits rays.

Alongside her French physicist husband, Pierre Curie, the brilliant scientific pair discovered a new radioactive element in 1898. The duo named the element polonium, after Poland, Marie’s native country.

Still, after more than 100 years, much of Curie’s personal effects including her clothes, furniture, cookbooks, and laboratory notes are still radioactive, author Bill Bryson writes in his book, A Short History of Nearly Everything.

Regarded as national and scientific treasures, Curie’s laboratory notebooks are stored in lead-lined boxes at France’s Bibliotheque National in Paris. Wellcome Library

While the library grants access to visitors to view Curie’s manuscripts, all guests are expected to sign a liability waiver and wear protective gear as the items are contaminated with radium 226, which has a half life of about 1,600 years, according to Christian Science Monitor.

Her body is also radioactive and was therefore placed in a coffin lined with nearly an inch of lead.

The Curie’s are buried in France’s Panthéon, a mausoleum in Paris which contains the remains of distinguished French citizens – like philosophers Rousseau and Voltaire.

January 1, 2023 Posted by | France, radiation, Reference, women | Leave a comment