French nuclear regulator ASN warned state-controlled utility EDF that it may have to review parts of the design of its new nuclear reactor model if it hopes to get clearance to build it. EDF’s current “European Pressurised Reactor” (EPR) model – the world’s largest reactor with 1,650 megawatt (MW) capacity – has suffered years of delays and billions of euros of cost overruns at construction sites in France and Finland as its size and many safety features make it unwieldy to construct. In a bid to make it easier to build, EDF unit Framatome – formerly called Areva – is now designing a new “EPR 2”, which will be cheaper and less complex, most notably because of the single steel-lined concrete hull for its containment building as opposed to the EPR’s double hull. In initial talks with the ASN, EDF (EDF.PA) had proposed to design the new EPR 2’s cooling circuit pipes with the same “break preclusion” concept as in the old EPR, of which EDF is building two at Hinkley Point, Britain. This means that components are manufactured to such a high standard that breakage is ruled out and the manufacturer therefore does not have to make plans for what to do in case of accident.
Reuters 18th July 2019 read more »
French utility EDF may have to shut down electricity generation at its 2,600 megawatt (MW) Golfech nuclear power plant in the south of France from Tuesday July 23 because of high temperatures forecast on the Garonne river. The power utility uses water from the river to cool the two reactors at the plant, but French meteorological services have forecast hot and dry weather next week, with a risk of a heatwave in the southeastern parts of the country. “Due to the temperature forecasts on the Garonne, production restrictions are likely to affect EDF’s nuclear power plant at Golfech from Tuesday July 23,” the company said, adding that both reactors could be unavailable.
Reuters 19th July 2019 read more »
According to testimonials collected during the past six months by Mediapart from several people working at the Tricastin nuclear power plant, problems have been accumulating on this site for two years. To the point that EDF avoids reporting incidents to the safety authority. All this in the hope of preserving the image of the first reactor to undergo the 40-year inspection.
Mediapart 19th July 2019 read more »
Justice bars Greenpeace from approaching nuclear waste convoys. The Paris tribunal de grande instance has ruled in favor of two Orano subsidiaries (formerly Areva) and banned NGO activists from interfering with transport operations.
Le Monde 19th July 2019 read more »
Justice bars Greenpeace from approaching nuclear waste convoys within 250 m.
Actu Environnement 19th July 2019 read more »
The Uramin affair is experiencing a new rebound . Parisian investigating judges have notified new indictments for former leaders of Areva (now Orano), including the former boss Anne Lauvergeon. They are involved in the accounting part of the controversial acquisition of Uramin, a Canadian mining company. After their acquisition by Areva for 1.8 billion euros in 2007, the more difficult operation of the company’s mines than expected put the operation on the back of the fiasco. The French nuclear group found itself forced to spend heavy provisions in 2011, after the departure of Anne Lauvergeon. This controversial buyout is at the heart of two investigations. One relates to suspicions of fraud and corruption during the acquisition of the mining company. The other on the provisions inscribed by Areva, the magistrates suspected of responsible of the group to have presented inaccurate accounts to hide the collapse of the value of Uramin.
Le Parisien 18th July 2019 read more »