The French presidential elections have made the fate of the country’s nuclear energy future a key battleground, according to new research. Analysts S&P Global Platts claim that the country’s 2014 energy transition pathway is at stake in the run up to the April 23 polls. With France facing its most uncertain presidential election in decades, ambitious goals for renewables and energy efficiency, and possibly a significant retreat from nuclear reliance are all at stake. According to PIRA Energy, an analytics unit of S&P Global Platts, nuclear power could be from 75% of the energy to 50% by 2025, equivalent to cutting capacity by 25 GW. A victory for current front-runner Emmanuel Macron looks certain to reduce the dominance of nuclear in France. That could reduce the country, traditionally Europe’s largest electricity exporter, to a deficit market increasingly dependent on imports of electricity.
Energy Voice 14th April 2017 read more »
[Machine Translation] Nine reactors are already being deconstructed in France, a disproportionate project that EDF has mastered technically and financially. But the difficulties and costs are considerable. With the announced closure of the Fessenheim plant in Alsace at the end of the decade – if EDF and the future government do not decide otherwise – “a huge industrial dismantling site will be able to start. For the public company, it is indeed a new page of the history of the atom that opens. The work that awaits it is colossal, the technical challenges immense, the considerable cost. However, its engineers are not on their first try. They began to get their hands on several reactors at the stop, including that of Chooz A, in the Ardennes. ASN has sharply criticised EDF for the “lack of information” provided on the strategy of dismantling the current fleet. “Between the three operators [EDF, Areva and CEA], the one with the fewest technical elements to judge the nature of future operations, their feasibility, their credibility, including in terms of timetable , It is clearly EDF. The reality is that the nuclear industry had not anticipated the end of its reactor life any more than the management of its ultimate waste. It was sure that, in due course, its engineers could find solutions. It is only since 2006 that the law requires that, when creating an atomic installation, “the general principles proposed for dismantling” be defined. “The nuclear sector has been unable to envisage its decline,” said Yves Marignac, director of the nuclear information agency WISE-Paris. Now, as in the mountains, it is often in the descent, when the attention is relaxed, that accidents occur. “
Le Monde 13th April 2017 read more »
The great task of nuclear deconstruction is, of course, costly. The bill is estimated at 1 billion euros for Superphénix, the former reactor at the Creys-Malville plant (Isère), nearly 500 million euros for Brennilis (Finistère), 400 million for Chooz A (Ardennes) and about 300 million for a conventional reactor. For all 58 reactors in operation and nine pioneers stationed, EDF figures the final addition to 60 billion euros, including waste management and last cores. In order to dispose of this sum at the appropriate time, the group had provisioned 24.4 billion euros as of December 31, 2016, an envelope of which Dominique Minière, responsible for nuclear and thermal production at EDF, recalls that it was validated by Several audits. However, in February 2017, the parliamentary committee on “the feasibility of dismantling nuclear installations” produced very different conclusions. It considers that “the dismantling costs are undervalued” and notes that the provisions made by EDF “are among the lowest [countries] of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, without a safety net The case of a difference in costs “.
Le Monde 13th April 2017 read more »
The Nuclear Safety Authority communicated on 13 April on the case of the Forges du Creusot d’Areva NP. The group informed the regulator of its intention to resume forging operations of nuclear pressure equipment components for French base nuclear installations at the site. ASN sent a letter dated 12 April to Areva NP and EDF, defining the preconditions for the resumption of forging operations. It will verify prior to the resumption of manufacturing the completeness of the action plan proposed by Areva NP and the effectiveness of the actions that have already been carried out. It will then maintain a stronger control of the plant, she warns.
Boursier 13th April 2017 read more »
France’s ASN nuclear regulator said that before Areva will be allowed to restart its Creusot Forge foundry, the company will have to show that an improvement plan at the plant has been fully implemented. Creusot Forge, which makes huge steel components for nuclear plants, was closed last year following the discovery of manufacturing irregularities and the forgery of manufacturing tracking documentation. Two EDF nuclear reactors have also been shut for months following problems related to Creusot-made parts.
Reuters 13th April 2017 read more »