EDF and Veolia, through respective subsidiaries Cyclife Holding and Asteralis, have created joint entity Graphitech to tackle the challenges of decommissioning nuclear reactors that incorporate graphite technology. Globally, only two reactors of small power graphite technology have been dismantled to date. Graphitech will be responsible for the technological development and engineering studies required in preparation for decommissioning graphite nuclear reactors, which number around 60 in countries including France, the UK, Spain, Italy, Lithuania and Japan. Graphitech will combine EDF’s nuclear expertise with Veolia’s nuclear-environment robotics capability to design specialized machinery and long-distance intervention platforms for decommissioning. Specifically, Graphitech will develop remote-operation tools to break up complex, large-scale structures, tools to extract activated graphite bricks and piles, plus design systems and articulated arms to enable deployment of these tools. Graphitech will first provide assistance to EDF for decommissioning the Chinon A2 reactor in 2028. This program will begin in 2022 with a development and qualification phase using full-scale models to prepare the remote-operation tools to be used in the Chinon reactor.
Nuclear Energy Insider 11th Dec 2019 read more »
Letter David Lowry: I read your report “EU agrees rule book for green investments” on the newly established EU “taxonomy for sustainable activities” for investment in energy, and found it extraordinary that nuclear energy has been included under a categorisation that screens options under a “do no harm principle”, which was pushed for by MEPs. Do these MEPs and European Commission’s energy directorate officials not remember the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986, which has cost more than €500bn in clean-up costs and lost land utility in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and several western European countries including the UK and Austria? Do they not recall the more recent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe in 2011, which is still radioactively polluting the Pacific Ocean, and would have bankrupted its owner-operator Tepco if the Japanese government had not stepped in and bailed out the company with taxpayers’ money? Ignoring or downplaying serious environmental risks of nuclear power — as do the three University of Cambridge academics, along with their Finnish research professor colleague — does not remove the objective danger. It just misleads elected decision makers.
FT 12th Dec 2019 read more »