The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Five French nuclear reactors with Japan-made parts ordered to undergo safety tests ahead of schedule

Some Japanese reactors also used steel from JCFC, according to statements from the companies:



France’s Nuclear Safety Authority has ordered the country’s EDF utility to conduct checkups at five nuclear reactors ahead of their scheduled maintenance tests, citing potential weakness in critical parts manufactured by a Japanese company, French media reported Tuesday.

All five nuclear reactors are using parts made by Kitakyushu-based Japan Casting & Forging Corp. (JCFC), which is now under scrutiny by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority.

The NRA discussed the matter at its regular meeting on Wednesday as it has also found the company manufactured reactor pressure vessels in 13 Japanese nuclear reactors including the Sendai Nos. 1 and 2 reactors operated by Kyushu Electric Power Co. in Kagoshima Prefecture.

The Sendai No. 1 reactor is undergoing a regular checkup while the No. 2 reactor is in operation.

In addition, the NRA said JCFC had been manufacturing important components at the No. 2 unit at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Mihama plant in Fukui Prefecture and No. 1 unit at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Genkai nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture, which have already been decommissioned.

The French nuclear watchdog ASN said earlier in June that parts manufactured by JCFC using a method called “forging,” in which metals are hammered and extended, contained a high carbon concentration that could lead to lower-than-expected mechanical strength.

In the documents submitted to the NRA meeting, JCFC admitted there is a possibility that the parts used in nuclear power plants in France contain carbon higher than the regulated limits, but parts used in Japan are manufactured after removing high-carbon concentration from steel.

According to the media reports, safety tests have already been carried out at seven of a total of 12 reactors in France that used parts manufactured by JCFC. Parts at four of the seven reactors are believed to contain a higher carbon concentration than permitted by standards.

Following these findings, ASN told EDF to test the remaining five reactors within three months.

France has 58 commercial nuclear reactors. At the No. 3 reactor at Flamanville nuclear plant, which is under construction, parts made in 2014 by Creusot Forge, a subsidiary of France’s Areva SA, were found to be lacking in strength. ASN later discovered that the parts manufactured by JCFC also had problems.

Read also the related articles from September 3 & 5, 2016 :


October 19, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ministries spar as Japan focuses on fast reactor project in France


The industry and science ministries were at odds over Japan’s shift toward France for nuclear fuel recycling efforts after Tokyo decided to scrap a “made-in-Japan” pillar of its energy policy.

The industry and science ministries were at odds over Japan’s shift toward France for nuclear fuel recycling efforts after Tokyo decided to scrap a “made-in-Japan” pillar of its energy policy.

Hiroshige Seko, minister of economy, trade and industry, stressed the significance of working with France, a global leader in fast reactor technology, after a Sept. 21 meeting of Cabinet members agreed to terminate the problem-stricken Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor project.

Seko told reporters that his ministry, which is in charge of the nation’ s energy policy, is pinning its hopes on joint research, including France’s ASTRID (Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration) fast reactor.

ASTRID is a crucial project for both Japan and France,” Seko said. “Japan has already participated in the project and has obtained various insights.”

The Monju fast-breeder reactor and the ASTRID fast reactor use similar technologies but are different.

Monju was designed to use plutonium as fuel for electricity generation and to produce more plutonium in the process.

ASTRID is centered on generating energy by consuming plutonium.

In addition, ASTRID is at a more advanced development stage than Monju.

There are four stages in the development of a nuclear reactor: experimental, prototype, demonstration and commercial.

ASTRID is in the demonstration stage while Monju is a prototype reactor.

Japan and France are already cooperating in the field of nuclear energy.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed that Japan would cooperate with France on preparations for a fast reactor project when he met with French President Francois Hollande in June 2013.

The two countries also concluded a tie-up in technological development and cooperation for fast reactors, including ASTRID, in May 2014.

Prospects are brighter than Monju, and France is a reliable partner,” said an industry ministry official.

But the science ministry, which has clashed with the industry ministry over the fate of Monju, is skeptical.

It says the France-led project does not necessarily promise success, citing Super-Phenix, France’s demonstrator fast-breeder reactor that was forced to shut down after a series of accidents, including a sodium leak, like Monju.

The science ministry has oversight in the first two stages of reactor development, while the industry ministry takes over for the two more advanced stages.

ASTRID is expected to go into operation in the 2030s, but the science ministry said that schedule could face delays.

Sources familiar with the project also say ASTRID will likely cost more than initially expected.

Japan could end up serving as a cash cow,” a senior science ministry official said.

However, the industry ministry is not budging on its stance.

What matters is that Japan keeps alive its research on a fast reactor,” a high-ranking ministry official said. “Japan should not dwell on a home-grown project.”

September 25, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear Repression, not Nuclear Renaissance, in Jaitapur, India

Jaitapur’s people are more concerned about being treated as sub-humans by the state, which has unleashed savage repression, including hundreds of arrests, illegal detentions and orders prohibiting peaceful assemblies. Eminent citizens keen to express solidarity with protesters were banned, including a former supreme court judge, the Communist party’s secretary and a former Navy chief. Gadgil too was prevented. A former high court judge was detained illegally for five days. Worse, a Maharashtra minister recently threatened that “outsiders” who visit Jaitapur wouldn’t be “allowed to come out” (alive).

This hasn’t broken the people’s resolve or resistance.

The truth behind India’s nuclear renaissance Jaitapur’s French-built nuclear plant is a disaster in waiting, jeopardising biodiversity and local livelihoods   Praful Bidwai,  8 February 2011 The global “nuclear renaissance” touted a decade ago has not materialised. Continue reading

February 10, 2011 Posted by | civil liberties, environment, India | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AREVA nuclear company doesn’t like India’s Nuclear Liability Law

Areva will await clarifications on Indian nuclear liability law, The Hindu, 26 Nov 10, The French nuclear company Areva declined from clarifying its position on the issue of supplier’s liability in the Indian civil nuclear liability law at a press briefing here on Thursday. Continue reading

November 26, 2010 Posted by | France, politics international | , , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear company AREVA hits a snag in expansion – short of money

In case of a new delay, the capital increase, aimed at helping Areva fund its international expansion, could be postponed to next spring,

Areva’s planned capital hike could stall-reportsMon Nov 22, 2010  PARIS  (Reuters) – French nuclear reactor maker (CEPFi.PA: Quote) may have to postpone a supervisory board meeting on its planned capital increase, threatening to stall the process, Continue reading

November 23, 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. 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

Pre NATO summit squabbles over nuclear arms reduction

The French are also dismissive of Obama’s vision of a nuclear-free world, laid out last year in Prague, while the Germans view it enthusiastically as the trigger for a new age of arms reduction and non-proliferation.

Germany and France in nuclear weapons dispute ahead of Nato summit Merkel and Sarkozy set to meet on fringes of Lisbon meeting to try to hammer out deal and rescue summit from failure  Ian Traynor in Brussels *,  18 November 2010 Germany and France are at odds over how strongly Nato should push nuclear disarmament, casting a cloud over an alliance summit tomorrow in Lisbon being billed as the most important since 2002. Continue reading

November 19, 2010 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | , , , | 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

Britain and France get together on nuclear weapons

Britain, France sign military co-operation pact – The Globe and Mail, 2 Nov 10, In French military circles they are known as the “crown jewels,” the fleet of Mirage fighter jets kept in the sky and devoted to delivering a nuclear strike. In Britain, the four Scottish-based submarines armed with 200 Trident nuclear warheads are considered untouchable……
The agreement was nonetheless signed on Tuesday by President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister David Cameron, both of whom are struggling with deep budget cuts and sagging economies. It will place British and French special forces together in a joint force of 10,000 troops and permit the sharing of aircraft carriers, unmanned drone aircraft and other military hardware. Most controversially, it will combine the testing and oversight of the two countries’ nuclear arsenals at a joint facility near Dijon, France…… Britain, France sign military co-operation pact – The Globe and Mail

November 3, 2010 Posted by | France, UK, weapons and war | , , , , | 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

Strikes, maintenance – closures of France’s nuclear plants

France buys electricity as its nuclear plants are hit by strike Vancouver Sun, By Henry Samuel, The Daily Telegraph October 21, 2010 France was forced to start importing electricity Thursday as unions announced that strikes would spread into the next two weeks.The unions said production had been cut at four nuclear power plants because of a 10-day rolling strike, while at least 12 of France’s 58 reactors are closed for maintenance……………………France buys electricity as its nuclear plants are hit by strike

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

Gabon human rights groups force AREVA to assist sick uranium workers

The mine workers became ill after working in the COMUF mine, which produced more than 26,000 tonnes of uranium over 38 years and was controlled by Areva from 1986 until it closed down in 1999.Production stopped due to falling uranium prices but Areva has since secured new permits to look for uranium in the region, in the south of Gabon.

Areva, Gabon launch plan to help ill uranium workers by Phal Mezui Ndong Gualbert, David Lewis,  Michael Roddy LIBREVILLE Oct 19 (Reuters) – Gabon and French mining giant Areva have launched a health initiative to treat more than 1,000 former miners who fell ill after working in a uranium mine in the Central African nation. Continue reading

October 19, 2010 Posted by | AFRICA, health | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

France in scramble to sell nukes to India

When asked if the ministry had set a deadline for clearing the project, Ramesh said, “There is no deadline for the approval of the project but since the French President is coming in December, we hope to take a decision on it before his arrival.”
Ramesh hints at clearance for Jaitpur N plant before Sarkozy visit, The Hindu, October 6, 2010, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday voiced hope that concerns raised by locals on a nuclear power plant to be built in collaboration with France in Maharashtra would be addressed and decision taken on the project before President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit in December……..

The six-unit nuclear power project is to be set up at Jaitpur in Ratnagiri using the technological know-how from France but there has been strong opposition from local NGOs who are demanding that it be scrapped citing radiation threat and alleged inadequate land compensation.

A nod by Ramesh’s Ministry to the project before the French President’s visit would save the authorities from an embarrassment as signing of a final agreement on the plant is understood to be high on Sarkozy’s agenda. The Hindu : News / National : Ramesh hints at clearance for Jaitpur N plant before Sarkozy visit

October 7, 2010 Posted by | India, politics international | , , , , , | 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