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Nuclear company EDF has financial and legal problems

The European Commission plans to take France to the European Court of Justice over a provision in the reform which maintains local taxes on electricity, La Tribune reported today……..….

EDF May Sell Nuclear Power Below 42 Euros, Deputy Says, Bloomberg, By Tara Patel – Nov 26, 2010 Electricite de France SA may be forced to sell nuclear power to rivals at less than it says it needs to recoup production costs under a law adopted yesterday by France’s National Assembly, according to a lawmaker. Continue reading

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November 26, 2010 Posted by | business and costs, France | , , , , , | Leave a comment

French nuclear company dreams of empire, as nuclear industry slumps in France

numerous problems…….. from industrial action to the company’s growing debt and a fall in nuclear output and capacity usage in France…..

EDF Looks To Build Nuclear Empire Outside U.S.  WSJ.com By GéRALDINE AMIEL, NOVEMBER 21, 2010,

PARIS—The future of Électricité de France SA lies primarily in nuclear energy, but probably not in the U.S.—at least according to Henri Proglio, the French power group’s chairman and chief executive……. Continue reading

November 22, 2010 Posted by | business and costs, France | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

French nuclear firm stuck, unable to sell nuclear reactors in USA

EDF Puts U.S. Nuclear Expansion Plans on Hold,  BloombergBy Tara Patel – Nov 16, 2010 Electricite de France the biggest operator of nuclear reactors, put on hold a plan to develop atomic plants in the U.S…. EDF is reviewing its business in the U.S. and supply contracts for developing a reactor, Thomas Piquemal, chief financial officer, said today on a conference call. “When we have a better visibility on the regulatory environment and price evolution, we will be in a better position to see whether we go ahead with U.S. projects.”

EDF agreed last month to pay about $249 million partly to buy out Constellation Energy Group Inc. from a venture to develop EPR reactors in the U.S., including one in Maryland. Slumping power prices has cut the value of three U.S. atomic plants that the two utilities own together and forecasts of sustained low prices prompted Constellation to withdraw from talks on a government loan guarantee for the Maryland reactor…..

November 17, 2010 Posted by | business and costs, France | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dirty tricks in the nuclear industry, using Stuxnet computer worm?

if Areva wanted to harm Siemens reputation or make it less attractive to Rosatom, what better way than to demonstrate the unreliability of its control system software?

British Nuclear Power Plant Goes Dark. Stuxnet Worm To Blame?, Forbes, The Firewall , Nov. 1 2010 by Jeffrey Carr,  British Energy, owned by France’s EDF Energy PLC, has reported an “unplanned outage” at its Heysham 1 nuclear power plant yesterday. A company spokesperson told the Associated Press that repairs to one of the reactors are ongoing but didn’t say when the plant was expected to resume operations.
According to Siemens’ website, EDF Energy is a customer of the German technology giant, whose infrastructure software has suffered from a global infection of the sophisticated Stuxnet worm……. Continue reading

November 4, 2010 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear power plants just not getting built in USA, despite govt loans

President Obama even proposed another $36 billion in federal loan guarantees for the industry in February of this year.

Yet last year, only one application was filed. And none at all this year…

Obstacles to Nuclear Construction in the United States, by Tony D’Altorio, Investment U Research  November 2, 2010 Electricite de France or EDF ADR (PINK: ECIFY) just got dumped by Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG). And that could spell some big changes to its plans. Continue reading

November 3, 2010 Posted by | business and costs, USA | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

France’s EDF faced with ‘sluggish’ nuclear revival in USA

before it can proceed with building and operating new plants, unlikely before 2012, the French state-controlled utility will have to line up a new partner with the endurance necessary for an increasingly sluggish U.S. nuclear renaissance…..

EDF’s Expensive U.S. Divorce – WSJ.co, 27 Oct 10, By MATTHEW CURTIN Paying to get out of a marriage that isn’t working isn’t unusual. But in the U.S. nuclear industry, where foreign operators require local partners to build and operate new plants, going it alone isn’t a long-term option. Continue reading

October 29, 2010 Posted by | business and costs, France | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Even top nuclear officials now doubt the future of nuclear energy

Says Claude Mandil, head of atomic energy for the French ministry of industry, “If France is unable to solve this [nuclear waste] issue, I do not see how we can continue the nuclear program.”…The bottom line: Even some of its biggest users are now doubting the wisdom of continuing dependence on nuclear energy, while claims that the atom is one answer to global warming don’t hold water.

Thomas D. Elias: Pro-nuke arguments deeply flawed Colusa Sun-Herald, 22 Oct 10, “………despite its dependence on the atom, France has no more solved the problem of nuclear waste disposal than we have. Continue reading

October 22, 2010 Posted by | France, politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Old nuclear plants have low market value, new ones not viable

..Constellation’s finances have stabilized but demand for electric power has fallen, reducing not only the market value of old power plants but the viability of building new ones.

Constellation’s fallout with French firm unfortunately the new business as usual, The Washington Post, By Steven Pearlstein, October 14, 2010 If you were looking for an example of the erosion in standards of business behavior, you couldn’t do better than the story of Constellation Energy and its recent falling-out with the French nuclear energy company EDF….. Continue reading

October 15, 2010 Posted by | business and costs, USA | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear “renaissance” looking riskier than ever, with cancellation of Maryland plant

There’s no gainsaying that nuclear construction projects are looking riskier all the time, especially in the United States, where many factors have conspired to spoil dreams of a big nuclear renaissance: declining energy demand since the onset of the global economic crisis (down 4 percent since 2007 in the States); plummeting natural gas prices (down almost half from what they were a few years ago); collapsing prospects for enactment of a U.S. climate bill (which would have raised the costs of fossil-fuel-generated electricity); and soaring reactor construction costs (with EDF’s current reactor 40 or 50 percent more expensive than originally billed).

Cancellation of Maryland Plant Delivers Double Whammy IEEE Spectrum:  Bill Sweet , October 13, 2010 Continue reading

October 14, 2010 Posted by | business and costs, USA | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No saving prospects for nuclear industry on the cliff edge

chaotic construction fiascos in Finland and Flamanville, France, have caused “trepidation” by the reactor industry as a whole,…..However it plays out, Constellation has dealt a body blow to the nuclear renaissance…..Pro-nuclear members of Congress may gather in December to demand more money and laxer terms for loan guarantees. But the apparent death of Calvert Cliffs has no upside for an industry on the brink.

Reactor “Renaissance” Flies off Another Cliff, By Harvey Wasserman, 12 Oct 10,
Maryland’s Calvert Cliffs nuke project is on the brink of cancellation.  It’s potentially one of the most critical atomic failures in decades.

But financial markets love the nuke’s demise.  The stock of its American partner—Constellation Energy—has soared with the apparent death of a project widely feared as a huge money-loser. Continue reading

October 12, 2010 Posted by | general | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sarkozy’s nuclear sales promotion to Africa – and everybody else

Senegal working with France on nuclear plant, IC Publications, 9 March 2010, Senegal is preparing to build a nuclear power plant with French help, its energy minister said Tuesday at a conference hosted by France to promote civilian use of atomic energy.The project could make Senegal Africa’s second nuclear energy producing country after South Africa, which has two French-designed reactors at Koeberg, near Cape Town…..President Nicolas Sarkozy opened the 65-nation conference in Paris on Monday by offering French know-how to build nuclear reactors, which he said would be a safe and efficient source of clean energy all over the world.IC Publications

October 7, 2010 Posted by | France, spinbuster | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear finance squabble as France’s debt-laden EDF in dispute with USA’s Constellation

Moving up a long way in funky financing, state-to-state bilateral deals in the nuclear power sector are now in high gear. Amounts in play are usually well above US $ 10 billion per project, and very complex mix-and-mingle methods and processes are used for their financing

From Put Options to Development Aid The French EDF ex-monopoly electricity supplier with the biggest number of nuclear reactors of any traded power company in the world, also the most debt-laden traded company in France, and with a share price down about 25% through Jan-Aug 2010, is using financial engineering to keep a foothold in the US nuclear power market. Continue reading

September 30, 2010 Posted by | business and costs, USA | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

French nuclear empire in retreat as EDF pulls out of Suez

THE NUCLEAR RETREAT –  GDF Suez pulls out of French EPR project throwing French nuclear expansion into doubt Beyond Nuclear -September 23, 2010 GDF Suez, the second largest utility in France, has withdrawn from the newest nuclear reactor project there. GDF Suez, 35% state-owned, was a partner with the leading – and fully government-owned – French utility, EDF in the new reactor construction project planned at Penly on the north coast. But despite shouldering 25% of the financing, Suez was prevented by EDF from operating the reactor, a role reserved for EDF. Suez depended on operating experience to market its expertise overseas. The withdrawal marks another blow to the French EPR reactor project already suffering from huge delays and cost over-runs at its French and Finnish construction sites.

Beyond Nuclear – THE NUCLEAR RETREAT – GDF Suez pulls out of French EPR project throwing French nuclear expansion into doubt

September 29, 2010 Posted by | business and costs, MIDDLE EAST | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Electricite de France trying to salvage failed USA nuclear venture

EDF fell 0.1 percent to close at 31.69 euros in Paris. The shares are down 24 percent this year….Constellation was spending $1 million a day on design work for the proposed plant in Lusby, Maryland, adjacent to its Calvert Cliffs reactors. It cut spending and staff after the loan guarantee failed to materialize, costs rose, power demand fell, and the price of natural gas, a competing fuel for power generation, tumbled,

DF, Constellation in Talks to Save U.S. Nuclear Venture By Tara Patel, Jeffrey McCracken and Jim Polson – Sep 25, 201 (Bloomberg) Electricite de France SA, Europe’s biggest utility, and Constellation Energy Group Inc. are in talks to avoid the collapse of their U.S. nuclear venture, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. Continue reading

September 28, 2010 Posted by | business and costs, USA | , , , , , | Leave a comment

France’s heavily subsidised nuclear industry – a costly warning to USA

The French nuclear program has been a state-owned monopoly from the outset, heavily subsidized by the government.  It could not survive in a free market.  By copying the French model – both in its energy choices and its willingness to use public funds to subsidize an industry that has never been self-sustaining – the U.S. is heading down a dangerous path of nuclear socialism.

France’s Nuclear “Miracle” is More Fantasy that Fact,  The Hill, By Mark Cooper – 09/23/10 Among backers of nuclear power development in the U.S., France has long been held out as the model to emulate. Now, as pressure builds on policy makers in Washington to set a new domestic energy course, the French experience once again is being heralded as proof that nuclearpower is the way to go.
Trouble is, France’s nuclear “miracle” is more fantasy than fact.  Continue reading

September 24, 2010 Posted by | business and costs, France | , , , , , , | Leave a comment