mercredi 14 janvier 2015

French nuclear sector future: nuclear vs renewables

Hi readers,
In this blog, you will find articles translated from the French press about the energy sector in France and Europe, included oil and gas, nukes, renewables sub-sectors, together with explanations about French acronyms and institutions and other resources

Les Échos, January 13rd.

French Nuclear sector future: nuclear vs renewables: Ségolène Royal's views.

Nuclear industry: decommissioning oldest plants and programming new reactors : Royal intends to set up “ a new generation of reactors”


Here, Ségolène Royal visiting the Civaux nuclear plant in August and intending to boost programming new nuclear plants. – AFP PHOTO XAVIER LEOTY
In a speech released by “Usine Nouvelle”, the Ecology and Energy Minister argues that “in the framework of building a carbon-free economy, nuclear power is an obvious advantage”.

No moratorium on nuclear energy

Don’t count on Ségolène Royal to make a moratorium on nuclear energy. Conversely, she argues that, in order to grant the complete security of this sector, “it is necessary to boost the building of a new generation of reactors, which shall replace older power plants when such plants could not more be renovated”, according to an interview released by the specialized magazine Usine Nouvelle, released last Tuesday.
In the wake of programming a carbon-free economy, nuclear power is an obvious advantage” and “nuclear demand must be considered in a clever way within a context of energy mix”, the minister adds. Moreover: “If I succeeded in making the Assemblée Nationale vote the energy transition law, that’s because I chose three options.The first one consisted in avoiding opposition between energy sources and the second consisted in pointing out the fact that the French know-how and history in the nuclear sector are one among our advantages, even if some people are quite reluctant to admit it”. Anyone concerned with the latest remark should notice that.

Decommissioning of oldest nuclear plants

The only concessions awarded to the Greens consisted in two measures, written in the energy transition law voted by the Assemblée. The first one insists on the fact that “renewables growth shall speed up”. The second one sets up the upper limit of the nuclear overall production to 63,2 gigawatts (namely its present ceiling) with its consequence as follows: “when both EPR in Flamanville in Manche shall open, two other reactors shall shut down”. Fessenheim, the oldest nuclear plant of the French park, shall close first. Its closure was a promise of the President of the Republic, François Hollande. On January, 6th, he recalled this promise, during an interview for France Inter radio.
 Ségolène Royal has hammered it: “For now, Fessenheim will close first, as there are not yet other suggestion.” But when? In 2016, as previously expected? The Minister answers: “We shall shut down the reactors as soon as Flamanville EPR shall be operational”. Yet EDF has recently postponed the commissioning of Flamanville to 2017 instead of 2016. 

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