The very nuclear-experienced EDF has, counter-intuitively, demonstrated almost uniquely in large-scale industrial construction and operation, a ‘negative learning curve” ie matters get worse, not better, with experience, in its nuclear fleet. Professor Arnulf Grubler, of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria, (where he is currently Programme Director of Transitions To New Technologies), has exposed this disastrous situation in his detailed assessment ‘The costs of the French nuclear scale-up: A case of negative learning by doing’, published in the internationally respected journal Energy Policy, in September 2010 (Volume 38, Issue 9, Pages 5174-5188).
David Lowry’s Blog 23rd Feb 2018 read more »
It’s not often that nuclear matters make me laugh out loud. But yesterday provided one such occasion, on reading of the latest announcement from EdF that a new ‘optimised reactor’ would be unveiled in 2020 at roughly half the price (£5.3bn) of the reactors currently under construction at Hinkley Point in Somerset (each at £9.8bn). Laugh? I nearly cried. When Theresa May confirmed the deal with EdF back in 2016, she was persuaded by her civil servants that there really wasn’t a choice. That’s now patently absurd. Just two years on, reality on the ground keeps on demonstrating why this bunch of leaden-footed mugwumps just need to get out more and see what’s actually happening with renewables, storage, energy efficiency, smart grids and so on, both here in the UK (with 13 clean energy records smashed in 2017, making it “the greenest year ever” from an energy perspective) and all around the world. It’s just so embarrassing for our nation to be so ill-served by a generation of politicians so intransigently stuck in the past.
Jonathon Porritt’s Blog 19th Feb 2018 read more »