France

[Machine Translation] “The impasse”, how the EPR sank French nuclear. France 5 broadcasts this Wednesday night “Nuclear, the French impasse”, a documentary against the declining reign of the atom. This film investigates EDF’s crazy gamble: risking its survival on the EPR, a reactor that accumulates trouble. Will the EPR be the Titanic of French nuclear power? This is the shocking question posed by a film investigated by director Patrick Benquet broadcast tonight on France 5 which points to the “impasse” in which the “most nuclearized country in the world” has locked up by equipping itself with 58 reactors. the 70s-80s. A fleet of 19 aging plants, which still produces 75% of French electricity, and which EDF wants to keep at all costs by launching a new generation of pressurized water reactor: the EPR, “the most powerful never built, able to supply electricity to a metropolis like Paris. It must have been the deadly weapon of the nuclear lobby to defend the reign of the atom undermined by the Fukushima disaster and the rise of green energies. EDF dreamed of exporting it all over the world by selling this “new nuclear” as the best lever against global warming. But things did not go at all as planned. And today EDF is going through a crisis that threatens the very existence of the “public service preferred by the French,” says the documentary. There are these hidden costs of the atom, put under the carpet for decades, which rise to the surface: the enormous costs of reprocessing radioactive waste, is added the bill of the “great refit”: these works of Hercules designed to extend the lifespan of aging plants from 40 to 50 years. “EDF promised cheap electricity, but the real cost of nuclear energy today is in the tens and tens of billions. And ultimately it is the taxpayer who will pay, announces the implacable voice off. Yet, EDF, the nuclear state in the state, will launch the EPR at all costs. By assigning a strategic mission: take over the old reactors that will gradually retire by 2035.

Liberation 30th May 2018 read more »

French EPR start-up faces further delays – IRSN. The launch of France’s first European pressurised reactor (EPR) faces further delays of “at least several months” due to sub-standard welding, nuclear safety authority ASN’s technical arm, IRSN, said on Wednesday. “We are talking clearly at least months [of delay],” said Wednesday Thierry Charles, in charge of nuclear safety at the IRSN, in an interview with Montel. But everything will depend on the conclusion of the expertise that will be made in relation to the achievement of safety objectives. I am very cautious because as long as we do not have a clear vision of the type of fault and the application of the safety requirements, and therefore that EDF proposes to respond, it is difficult to put the cursor between a few months and more, “he added. EDF said in Apri lhave detected quality discrepancies in the main secondary circuit during a pre-commissioning visit to the nuclear facility, adding that this discovery could have an impact on the reactor start-up schedule. Mr. Charles indicated that there were a large number of welds with defects in the piping of the main secondary circuit: “The number of defects is at least an indication of the quality of the workmanship, so it shows that there is had insufficient quality […] But it is not necessary to have a lot of defects to have a big difficulty compared to a security requirement.”

Montel 30th May 2018 read more »

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Published: 31 May 2018