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France

France gets nearly 80% of its electricity from its 58 reactors. However, such a heavy reliance on nuclear power brings with it many major, unsolved problems, most especially that of radioactive waste. Despite assertions to the contrary, the French nuclear story is far from a gleaming example of nuclear success.

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Wednesday
May252011

French nuclear safety agency urges wider Japan evacuation

From the Times of India:  "Seventy thousand people living beyond the 20-kilometre no-go zone around Fukushima should be evacuated because of radioactivity deposited by the crippled nuclear plant, a watchdog said. Updating its assessment of the March 11 disaster, France's Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) highlighted an area northwest of the plant that lies beyond the 20-km (12 mile) zone whose inhabitants have already been evacuated. Radioactivity levels in this area range from several hundred becquerels per square metre to thousands or even several million bequerels per square metre, the IRSN report, issued late Monday, said.

Thursday
May192011

Finnish nuclear regulator tells Indian official of EPR problems

From The Hindu newspaper: "Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh heard a sobering assessment of the Areva's Finnish reactor project (pictured left) — which is running four years behind schedule, with cost overruns hitting 2.7 billion euros — from that country's nuclear regulator.

In a presentation made to Mr. Ramesh and a visiting Indian delegation in Finland earlier this week, Finnish regulator STUK put the blame for the crippling delay on Areva, for taking on the job without the requisite competencies, without experienced partners, and without completing design and engineering work before it started construction.

“In all of the Areva's earlier projects, the owner and licensee of the French nuclear power plants EdF had played the important role as the architect-engineer and had been responsible for the construction management,” The STUK told Mr. Ramesh. “at the start of the project it was found that many of the experienced nuclear manufacturers who had contributed to the earlier Areva projects had left the business. The Areva had to find new subcontractors and to coach them in nuclear manufacturing.”

The Finnish regulator added that the original schedule was “too ambitious” for a nuclear plant that is the first of its kind, larger than any previous project and built after a long gap in nuclear plant construction in Europe."

Wednesday
May112011

Areva stops construction of reactor components plant in US

Citing unfavorable market conditions, Areva announced that it will indefinitely suspend construction of the Areva Newport News manufacturing facility. The plant was to supply heavy parts like reactor vessels and steam generators for Areva’s U.S. EPR reactor.

Friday
Apr012011

Anti-nuclear rally in Paris today, April 1st

TO ALL OUR FRIENDS IN PARIS:


Action antinucléaire visuelle et symbolique - Paris

(Visual and symbolic anti-nuclear action -- Paris)

Date: Today/Vendredi 1er avril - 14h30 (Friday, April 1, 2:30pm)

Where: Devant l'Elysée, 56 rue Saint Honoré

Laura Hameaux
Coordination Nationale des groupes et actions (National Coordinator for Groups and Actions)
Réseau Sortir du nucléaire (Campaign for Nuclear Phase Out)
81 bis, rue Gantois 59000 LILLE
Mobile: +33 (0)685230511
Tel: +33 (0)320179491
Mail: laura.hameaux @ sortirdunucleaire.fr
Web: http://www.sortirdunucleaire.org

Friday
Jan212011

Straight from the "whatever next" playbook

France is proposing to build underwater reactors, perhaps besting - or more accurately, "worsting" - Russia's floating reactor concept. As if the seas around northern France aren't contaminated enough by the radioactive effluent pumped from the La Hague reprocessing plant, small reactors would lurk just offshore, risking a Deep Horizon type disaster, nuclear style. The "anchored" reactors would be a joint project of DCNS, the French state-controlled naval company, Areva, EDF and the French Atomic Energy Commission. More at Remy Parmentier's blog.