[Machine Translation] RTE published today the summary, the Minister of the Transition ecological and solidarity, Nicolas Hulot, today announced the sliding in time of the goal of reduction to 50% of nuclear in the generation of electricity in 2025, enshrined in the law on the energy transition for green growth of August 2015. Surprised that a Minister of State could thus change the law and fearing a new renunciation, the Association négaWatt calls on the contrary to draw all the positive lessons from this unprecedented prospective exercise. The new provisional balance sheet published by RTE marks an important step, rich in observations and major lessons: based on a robust methodology and on the detailed analysis of a very large number of parameters, it also comes from a a very open consultation process, which the NeWaWatt Association welcomes and to which it is pleased to have contributed. This exercise confirms above all a historic break in the evolution of electricity consumption, called in all cases to decrease thanks to the improvement of the energy efficiency of the appliances, and that only a massive but hypothetical development of the park of electric vehicles is likely to recover to its current level. The forecast balance confirms the long-standing idea of the negaWatt Association that efficiency potentials are greater than usage growth. the options explored by RTE show both: – that reducing installed nuclear capacity from the current level is, in all cases, economically relevant, – that the substitution of nuclear energy by renewables up to 40% or more is possible without increased use of fossil fuels, – that the systematic shutdown of the reactors by the end of 40 years is possible without uncontrolled increase in greenhouse gas emissions – the negaWatt 2017-2050 scenario, more ambitious on renewables and lowering of consumption, even shows that it is possible without any increase in these emissions.
Negawatt 7th Nov 2017 read more »
France’s ASN nuclear regulator will rule on a potential lifespan extension of EDF’s nuclear reactors in 2020-21, ASN chief Pierre-Franck Chevet said on Wednesday. France’s 58 nuclear reactors, operated by state-controlled utility EDF, were built in large part between the end of the 1970s and early 1980s and are coming to the end of their 40-year life, which EDF wants to extend to 50 years. In a hearing on the safety and security of France’s 58 nuclear reactors, Chevet said safety levels were satisfactory overall, despite a number of anomalies and incidents reported in recent weeks. But he reiterated that financial difficulties of EDF and reactor builder Areva were worrying from a safety point of view. Chevet said the standardisation of French nuclear reactors – all use the same pressurised water technology – makes problem detection easier but also increases the risk of a generic flaw that can force the closure of several reactors at the same time. He said the absence of a “core catcher” in all of EDF’s existing reactors will also be an issue in the ASN’s decision on whether or not to extend the lifespan. EDF’s new EPR reactor, under construction in Flamanville, has a giant ashtray-like bowl that can contain a core in case of meltdown. Older reactors lack this feature and could suffer the “China Syndrome” with molten fuel burning into the ground and reaching the water table in case of an accident, Chevet said.
Reuters 8th Nov 2017 read more »