One of the most read articles on this blog is ” 10 reasons to support nuclear power “, which I wrote in 2009 when the situation was very different. A lot happened since then that has made me reconsider my stance on nuclear, so here is a counter-point.
Would you buy two examples of a very expensive and complex product that nobody has ever seen functioning ? The most likely answer is ” No “. Yet that’s exactly what the United Kingdom did buy buying Monday two EPR reactors.
The European Pressurized Reactor is an evolution of third generation nuclear reactors. It was developed by Areva and Siemens – who since withdrew from the project – in the 1990s and 2000s.
I have to say that I now have mixed feelings about nuclear. Since I wrote and published my 10 reasons to support nuclear – by far my most popular post on this blog – the catastrophe at Fukushima took place.
Now the main French utility – Electricité de France, aka EDF – announced that its EPR reactor in Flamanville, France, will cost a massive two billion euros more than previously forecasted, now totally 8.5 billion euros.
To the AFP : ” Egypt announced on Wednesday it would build its planned nuclear powerplant on the Mediterranean coast of el-Dabaa which it hopes will start production in 2019, the state news agency MENA reported. “
” Egypt has already used several foreign companies as consultants, including Areva and Westinghouse Electric Co. (this) plant would be followed by three other reactors, tentatively scheduled to start production in 2025. “
This would be the fourth country in the region to build nuclear reactors. Meanwhile, the country is also willing to develop renewable energies such as wind and solar.
There is something I totally overlooked while writing earlier this week my article on how Europe goes forward on energy. Indeed, last month Italy announced its intention to build nuclear reactors this decade.
Italian electricity is both heavily reliant on foreign fossil sources (70 percent) and on imports (ten percent comes from France’s own reactors). Building four nuclear reactors will decrease both.
A total of ten reactors might be built by the next 20 years to enable the country to get 25 percent of its electricity from this low carbon source.
As I am still looking for a job in the cleantech sector I am attending today the Forum des Emplois Verts (French Green Jobs forum) in Paris where up to 2,000 jobs positions are proposed. This is a fantastic opportunity since as I noted earlier the Boston Consulting Group believes the Grenelle de l’Environnement could … Read more
It is not entirely new as I was mentioning it earlier, but this times actual developments are witnessed. A most interesting article on Dot Earth sums up the situation.
With the potential construction of up to 34 new reactors, the USA may play a part in the nuclear revival some people like James Lovelock are willing to see.
Nuclear has a seriously bad reputation for some ecologists, and this even if it is the second lowest greenhouse gases emitting energy solution.
But with the crises of energy scarcity and the imperative of fast climate change mitigation, this solution becomes more and more interesting.
According to the French daily Le Figaro in its Monday edition, the construction of the first EPR reactor in France has begun and is going on well.
The EPR technology provides several improvements to the current nuclear plants, including increased yield and security, decreased waste and radiations.
This reactor will be operational in 2012 and will produce 1.650 MW. In this article I outline the specificities of this reactor and its commercial potential.
As I indeed got news I wanted to write for quite some time, I take the time today to present you the latest news on nuclear energy.
China signed last month for two new EPR reactors from French AREVA (website). These reactors are third generation ones and has been developed in Europe. Prior to this, China had signed a contract with the US company Westinghouse.
EPR reactors are third generation ones and are even less dangerous that current second generation reactors. Improvements are brought in terms of security as well as in competitiveness. Nuclear waste also should be reduced by 15 to 30 percent. Originally, EPR was developed by France and Germany, hence the name : European Pressurized reactor.