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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #282 - Nuclear: EPR: ever more danger (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 29 Apr 2018 09:24:41 +0300

Government communication is in tune with the energy transition. In fact, the policy in favor of nuclear energy continues in particular by the construction and multiplication of EPR projects. ---- The expansion of the nuclear industry is the subject of fierce competition between its various players. China has 19 construction sites under construction and EDF intends to start its first EPR this summer in Taïshan. And what does the French state do ? He supports his champion! ---- Despite all the setbacks of the EPR site in Flamanville, among others, the French giant keeps smiling: his US rival is also in the panade. Given the growth forecasts for electricity production, there is no question of questioning the sector. Electric cars, servers for the Internet, " Data Centers ", ... production must increase considerably to assume this capitalist " transition ".

The transition to all-digital is therefore much more important than the energy transition. Because the Internet, as capitalism develops, will consume on a global scale the equivalent of the production of one hundred reactors by 2030. The choices made require a 24-hour availability, for which nuclear has assets.

From the transition to the maintenance of the sector
The affirmed reduction of nuclear energy to 50 % of the electricity generated by 2025 is constantly pushed back. Hulot is now positioned on 2035. Several elements of language are put to contribution to make swallow the snake to the citizens. For example, the " reduction of the share of nuclear power in the energy mix " is actually an increase in the production of renewable energies (like the 1,000 Aveyron wind turbines), but certainly not a closure of power stations. Fessenheim, whose closure has been decided, will remain open at least until the commissioning of the EPR. The message is clear: no decrease in nuclear production.

" Nuclear power is clean energy ." To try to justify this untruth, the State uses a carbon equivalent calculation base and continues the closure of thermal power stations. But the calculations do not take into account the extraction of uranium or its enrichment, any more than the question of waste.

" Nuclear energy is competitive ." This is forgetting to say that the EDF caisses are constantly bailed out by the taxpayer. It is to be forgotten that research and development are largely carried out by the army. As a result, large volumes of financing come out of EDF's accounts and deceive on the real cost. Propaganda is running at full speed to justify that the exit of the nuclear or even a simple reduction of the park is not on the agenda.

EPR project in Olkiluoto, Finland
In 2007 AL's Ecology Commission wrote that the nuclear industry was in bad shape. And it was true ! This industry is now seeking to be reborn from its ashes by becoming a player in the " energy transition ". After the inauguration of the Taïshan reactor, EDF will be able to proclaim the opening of the first EPR in the world. A big winner, she will seek to restore her legitimacy by finishing Flamanville and Olkiluoto (Finland) and thus erasing the slate of setbacks. Will come next Hinkley Point (United Kingdom) ...

This leap forward pushes us even further towards a probable major accident ! Because the EPR can use the MOX fuel, which, remember it is the main cause of the ecological disaster of Fukushima. Nothing is said either about the difficulties of dismantling the future EPRs. Already there is the existence of sixty stationary reactors of which we do not know what to do. Nothing on the accumulation of waste. The dustbin of Bure would serve to make forget that they exist, but their production will continue.

Reinette Noyé (AL Aveyron)

An aging nuclear fleet
The map established by the network out of the nuclear age of the age of nuclear reactors in France: the park of fifty-eight reactors that we know today was built between the 1970s and 1990s. The map mentions only the park in operation. It does not include either the Flamanville EPR under construction or the old Brennilis experimental plant. Recall that it has been dismantled since 1985, dismantling regularly suspended and still incomplete because it is an impossible task.

Click to enlarge
All the plants in red on the map (more than 30 years old) are nearing completion, which was estimated at 40 years old. EDF is in negotiations to bring them to 50 years before the end of 2018, and has in the viewfinder a life of 60 years. It is not Macron who will say the opposite.

According to the official rules, two reactors are already illegal. In five years twenty-one will be. In ten years this number will be forty-six ! Compliance with safety rules or summary calculation of profitability ?

The government does not seem to hesitate. Moreover, the dismantling of power plants is pushed back to " in 50 years " for the French fleet. In any case EDF has not provisioned the sums needed for these gigantic projects.

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