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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.)

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Tuesday
Oct262010

French ambitions for the EPR "cooling"

Peggy Hollinger of the Financial Times reports that Constellation Energy's withdrawal from the Calvert Cliffs 3 new reactor project in Maryland has sent shock waves through the French government owned companies Areva and Electricite de France. She writes of the Areva Evolutionary Power Reactor's (EPR) global prospects "...the EPR has suffered a series of devastating blows, and even the [French] government today questions whether it has wasted years of research and billions of euros on a highly complex white elephant."

Sunday
Oct032010

Documents reveal major safety flaws at EPR and other French reactors

On Monday 27 September, the French Nuclear Phase out Network "Sortir du nucléaire" received internal EDF documents, showing that the design and manufacture of the vessel closure head for the EPR in Flamanville could lead to a Chernobyl-type accident. Worse still, according to a memo written by the Head of nuclear fuel from EDF in 2001 (1), a Chernobyl-type accident is possible on all French nuclear reactors. The EPR is also concerned. Several EDF documents show that the number of welds and the type of steel used in some parts of the reactor vessel at Flamanville EPR may cause leaks. EDF considers that the leaks may, in turn, degenerate into a Chernobyl-type accident. This type of steel and welds are part of the emergency shutdown system of the EPR and cover 89 points of entry into the reactor vessel.  Read the full press release.

Friday
Sep242010

Calvert Cliffs EPR looks in doubt as Constellation and EDF feud

The so-called nuclear "Renaissance" is starting to look less like a marble David and more like a collapsing cooling tower as U.S. utility, Constellation, becomes the next to run for the exits. According to a Bloomberg article, Constellation and French partner, EDF, are in frantic talks to try to save their joint U.S. venture - a third reactor at the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant site on the shores of  the Chesapeake Bay.

Thursday
Sep092010

French "nuclear miracle" plagued by fast-rising reactor costs and "crowding out" of renewables

A new study by Dr. Mark Cooper of Vermont Law School, released today, warns "it is highly unlikely that the problems of the nuclear industry will be solved by an infusion of federal loan guarantees and other subsidies to get the first plants in a new building cycle completed. U.S. policymakers should resist efforts to force the government into making large loans on terms that put taxpayers at risk in order to ‘save' a project or an industry that may not be salvageable." The press release contains a link to the executive summary and the full report. Steven Thomas of Greenwich University in London, expert on Electricite de France and Areva economic woes, joined Dr. Cooper for the press conference, a full audio recording of which can be found at www.nuclearbailout.org after 6 p.m. today.

Monday
Jul262010

Safety fears raised about French Areva EPR in both Europe and U.S.

The New York Times has reported allegations of safety significant design flaws with nuclear fuel rod cladding, as well as the danger of control rod ejection accidents, at the French Areva "European Pressurized Reactor" targeted at Flammanville on the Normandy Coast. Meanwhile, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has continued to question the safety of interconnections between safety and non-safety "Instrumentation and Control" systems at the Areva "Evolutionary Power Reactor" targeted to be built at Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant in Maryland, Nine Mile Point on the Lake Ontario shoreline in New York State, and elsewhere.