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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL September 2017 - Nuclear: Nicolas Hulot, the leak forward (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Fri, 6 Oct 2017 09:28:14 +0300

Macron had pledged allegiance to EDF in his campaign, promising the commissioning of the Flamanville EPR. Does the appointment of Nicolas Hulot to the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition really change anything ? ---- Since the 1970s, successive French governments have committed themselves, without any form of democracy, to a program of nuclear production of electricity as disproportionate as it is expensive. And now Minister Hulot is posing the possibility of closing power stations by 2025 to enter the nails of the Paris agreements and the energy transition law. In view of its latest statements, it has already lowered its ambition (going from 25 closures to 17). ---- Like the previous ministers of the " antinuclear " ecology (Cochet, Lepage, Voynet), Hulot has already heard the various directors of his ministry, most of them engineers, X-Mines , formatted by their studies, acquired the nuclear lobby.

Asked about permission to operate Flamanville Hulot's EPR [1], he said: " Wait for the Nuclear Safety Authority[ASN]to give its opinion " and look for " a clear vision of where 'we go into our energy model '. But once this comes up with the Macron program which provides for the only closing of the Fessenheim power station - and again, to put Flamanville in operation - the games are already done.

Repeated mistakes

Yet the future of the EPR is more than compromised. While the commercial successes of Areva and EDF, which sell these reactors (1 in Finland, 2 in China and 2 in the United Kingdom), are announced, none of them have been put into operation. service.

The first attempt at Olkiluoto in Finland (known as OL3) was signed in 2003 for an opening in 2009. To date and due to an incredible succession of workmanship, the reactor is still not completed, deferred from year to year and the cost of its construction, initially foreseen at 3 billion euros, exploded to exceed 9 billion. Today in conflict, the Finnish operator TVO and Areva claim several billion euros, one for the loss of exploitation, the other for losses suffered due to the supposed bad faith of his client.

When we see the defects observed by the ASN on the tank of the Flamanville reactor and the unwillingness of Areva and EDF to recognize them, the bad faith of TVO remains to be demonstrated ... Note that the French duo is even more closely linked since the state wants to take control of Areva NP by EDF.

In Flamanville, where, as in Olkiluoto, costs have exploded (from 3.3 billion to about 11 billion today) and the site is several years behind schedule: the planned start-up in 2010 is postponed until 2018. But let us bet that we will not remain there. In addition to the defective tank that Areva and EDF refuse to replace at the moment, there are also other defects accumulate. And if officially, everything is going well on the site of Taishan in China, according to Reporterre [2]the flaws noticed on the tank of Flamanville could well end up on the two Chinese reactors, and open the door to new disputes.

Rest Hinkley Point in England. Decided in 2012, the EPR is not officially launched yet, although earthworks have begun. The British government is waiting to see what is happening in Flamanville, a new carry-over that could be a fatal blow to the project, which currently amounts to more than $ 20 billion (up from 13 in 2012). Yet the Chinese, co-funders of the project, are lobbying the British government to get it started. But if EDF remains on a bricolage of the tank, the latter could abandon purely and simply the project. Meanwhile, while the first nuclear concrete has not yet been poured, EDF is already announcing an extra cost of 1.5 billion due to the delay on the construction site. The financial risk becomes such that even the usually inter-union concession of EDF (CGT," Scandal governance " after the resignation " desperation " CFO who refused to take the risk, which occurred in February 2016.

It is a safe bet that all this will not discourage our rulers, so for decades, nuclear power has been sold as the new philosopher's stone to which successive governments have believed. It is difficult to go back, and in the absence of massive mobilization against these projects, it is hard to see how they could not see the light of day.

Visiting the Island Long in early July, Macron disguised as a sailor took advantage of a small dive on the submarine Le Terrible, to reaffirm with the crew the " necessary permanence of the French deterrent " which guarantees " the interests vital to France " [3]. Yet, if the government wanted to save money, the nuclear weapons budget would be one way to explore, with its € 4 billion maintenance in 2017 and the forthcoming renewal of the fleet of submarines launching engines to 3 billion each [4]; this is about the amount the government is looking for to close its budget. And yet French " deterrence " gently laughs at the Americans and Russians, who together have about 13,000 nuclear bombs, compared to 300 here. But when you want to " build peace " like Macron, all the means are good, even if you go against the principles of non-proliferation and no longer look at the expense.

Max (AL Saint-Denis)

Antinuclear World Social Forum

The event could be an opportunity to relaunch the anti-nuclear fight in France, since the third World Anti-Nuclear Social Forum will be held in Paris from 2 to 4 November. This branch of reflection of the WSF took its first steps autonomously in Tokyo, then in Montreal (2016). Among the debates planned: the present aporias of the nuclear sector, the contradiction between nuclear and ecological transition, the link between nuclear civil and military.

[1] European Pressurized Reactor, then Evolutionary Power Reactor, designed and developed by Areva NP but which operates Westinghouse's Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) patent.

[2] Reporterre.net, " Chinese EPRs confronted with French defects ".

[3] " Macron in chief of the Armies aboard the nuclear submarine Le Terrible ", Ouest-france.fr, July 4, 2017.

[4] Last born in 2008, Le Terrible had itself cost about 2.4 billion euros.

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