European Pressurized Reactor (EPR)

The Areva reactor, known in the U.S. as the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) - but curiously renamed the Evolutionary Power Reactor for the U.S. version - is tentatively slated for at least six sites in the U.S. Communities around these proposed sites have joined together to form the Stop EPR USA coalition (much like the national French Stop-EPR coalition.)



EDF seeks to end its U.S. nuclear misadventure

NRC file photo of Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant on the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay in Lusby, MDAs reported by the Baltimore Sun, Exelon/Constellation Nuclear will pay Electricite de France (EDF) a $400 million "special dividend" payment, in exchange for severing partnerships at three U.S. nuclear power plants, totaling five reactors, including Calvert Cliffs Units 1 & 2 on the Chesapeake Bay in Lusby, Maryland (photo, left), and the Ginna and Nine Mile Point Unit 1 & 2 nuclear power plants on the Lake Ontario shore of Upstate, New York. EDF then has the option to sell its 49.99% stake in the nuclear power plants to Exelon between 2016-2022.

When Constellation abandoned the project, not wanting to risk its own skin in the game in exchange for a $7.5 billion federal nuclear loan guarantee offered by the Obama administration, EDF was left holding the bag as majority owner of the proposed new reactor, Calvert Cliffs Unit 3. But foreign ownership is illegal under the Atomic Energy Act, and no other American partner stepped up. The proposed new reactor was to have been a French Areva EPR (1,600 Megawatt-electric Evolutionary Power Reactor). Numerous additional proposed new EPRs have been indefinitely postponed or outright canceled across the U.S. and Canada.

As reported in the article, 'EDF Chief Financial Officer Thomas Piquemal said Tuesday that the deal represents what he hopes is "the last chapter of our U.S. adventure with Constellation," Bloomberg reported.

The Baltimore Business Journal also reported on this story.

As reported by Power Engineering International, EDF's CEO, Henri Proglio, speaking at a news conference in Paris, stated: "The circumstances for the development of nuclear in the US are not favorable at the moment. We are a major player in nuclear, but we are not obsessed by nuclear. Our development in the US will focus on renewable energy – that will be our vector of growth in the US.” (emphasis added)


"The Rust-Bucket Reactors Start to Fall"

Harvey WassermanHarvey Wasserman, editor of and author of Solartopia, has written a blog inspired by the announced closure of the Kewaunee atomic reactor in Wisconsin. He begins by stating 'The US fleet of 104 deteriorating atomic reactors is starting to fall. The much-hyped "nuclear renaissance" is now definitively headed in reverse.'

He points out that Kewaunee may be but the first domino to fall, describing the impact of "low gas prices, declining performance, unsolved technical problems and escalating public resistance" at numerous other old, age-degraded, troubled reactors across the U.S. But Harvey also points out the momentum applies as well as overseas, in the wake of Fukushima, not only in Japan, but also India, and even Europe, led by Germany's nuclear power phase out.

Referring to the new French Areva "European Pressurized Reactors" (or EPRs), under construction in Europe and proposed in the U.S., Harvey writes that "projected cost estimates for new reactors soar out of control---here [in the U.S.], in Finland, France and elsewhere."

He adds "A proposed French-financed reactor for Maryland has been cancelled thanks to a powerful grassroots campaign. Any other new reactor projects will face public opposition and economic pitfalls at least as powerful."

Harvey, a senior advisor to Greenpeace USA and Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), will address "From Fukushima to Fermi-3: Getting to Solartopia Before It's Too Late" in Dearborn, MI on Dec. 7th at the official launch event for the new organization, the Alliance to Halt Fermi-3.


"American Dream" looks over for EDF

Électricité de France, the French utility originally planning to expand nuclear energy in the U.S. through construction of the French EPR reactor, is backing away from the U.S. market. Having already been left stranded by its US partner, Constellation, at the planned Calvert Cliffs, MD new reactor site, EDF's French chairman and chief executive, Henri Proglio, now says EDF will look for business elsewhere. For EDF, the world's biggest nuclear operator, the U.S. represents "a significant stake but not an essential one," he told The Wall Street Journal in an interview in his central Paris office.


Doomed French reactor should be abandoned now, expert says

Even if it is propped up with extensive government subsidies or full cost-recovery from ratepayers, the "Evolutionary Power Reactor" (EPR) - which the French government-controlled utility, Electricite de France (EDF) plans to deliver for the troubled Calvert Cliffs-3 project and other sites in the United States - is "in crisis"  to such a severe extent that it is likely to be an economic failure, according to a new report by University of Greenwich Professor of Energy Studies Stephen Thomas. "From a business point of view, the right course for EDF and Areva seems clear. They mut cut their losses and abandone the EPR now," Thomas concluded. (Photo: EPR the great bluff, by Greenpeace). Read the full report.


Sustainable Guernsey decries increased tritium releases into sea and air

"Our seas should not be regarded as a convenient dustbin into which unwanted and potentially dangerous waste products can be dumped in order to externalise the costs of nuclear power production and make it appear cheaper than it actually is." This statement is included in a longer one by Sustainable Guernsey revealing that the Flamanville reactors - which can be seen from the Channel Islands off the coast of Normandy - have been permitted to increase the level of radioactive tritium discharge into the sea and air. This is likely a violation of the OSPAR convention and is almost certainly, as the statement points out, to accommodate the future releases from the enormous "16,000 MW European Pressurised Water Reactor (Flamanville 3) presently under construction which, when completed will be larger than the two other PWRs on the same site." (Pictured: Flamanville 3 construction site).