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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
Nov242010

"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.

Saturday
Nov062010

Tens of thousands protest waste transport as it enters Germany

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated Saturday, November 6 against a shipment of nuclear waste travelling to a storage site in northern Germany, and some tried to block railway tracks in a protest fueled by a government move to extend the country's use of atomic energy, reports David Rising of the Canadian Press. Demonstrators turned fields outside the town of Dannenberg into a sea of yellow-and-red flags with the slogan "Nuclear Power — No, Thanks." Protesters estimated a final crowd of more than 40,000 peaceful demonstrators. The shipment of highly radioactive waste from the French reprocessing site in Normandy, traveled first by truck and then train across France and into Germany. Al Jazeera English also provides a report.

Saturday
Nov062010

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.

Friday
Nov052010

Chilling first footage of most radioactive transport ever on the move through France

In French but the images speak volumes:


Convoi le plus radioactif de l'histoire : premières images
Uploaded by gpfrance. - Up-to-the minute news videos.

Wednesday
Nov032010

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).

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