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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL Novembre - Hinkley Point: EDF and the large galley EPR (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Tue, 6 Dec 2016 14:33:19 +0200

Mired in its EPR projects in Flamanville and Olkiluoto (Finland), the management of EDF since 2012 seeks to export two reactors in Britain, in the central Hinkley Point. A project that has already generated a real novel of protest. ---- Challenging the construction is done on several levels: safety of installations, sustainability of partnership with the Chinese operator CGN (or CGNPC, China General Nuclear Power Group), EDF finances, ability to finish the job, who will pay. .. the project is well exposed on all sides, by the unions as well as by the Board of Directors, through engineers or residents of the project. ---- Extra cost of 30 billion compared to renewable ---- But why EDF holds it so much to do this project? We must remember that buying British Energy (UK nuclear operator) in 2008, EDF had opened a market to build, and at that time had revive its growth on the EPR. In 2013 the British government made a power purchase offer to EDF at full price, up to 120 euros per kwh as against 40 in France.

This tripling of the price (which will fall on the British taxpayer) is actually a disguised subsidy to a project that otherwise would not be viable. And it is based on the advantageous mounting EDF embarked on the project of two new reactors at Hinkley Point. At the official launch of the project on September 29, the CEO of EDF announced a record profit rate of 9% for these reactors. Only thereafter the Board of Directors revised the rate to 8%, and again, still lower bound foreseeable setbacks, such as the delay in delivery[1]. As this site may be even more complicated than others already late, transnational partnership obliges it hard to believe that the event is not thereby budgeted. And of course, nor the future decommissioning of the plant or waste management are reflected in the calculation of earnings.

The central Hinkley Point already has two reactors (Hinkley A and B, B being the end of the activity), and suffered a strong challenge after a fire and a leak in 2012. A group Stop Hinkley is active for closure of the plant, and finds himself at the forefront of the mobilization against the construction of the EPR[2]. One of its main battle axes is to denounce the government's propaganda, which said the central safe, economical and ecological.

Conversely, Opponents emphasize the additional costs for consumers, which will be 30 billion compared to the price of renewable energy. As for safety, there as everywhere, statistically, the next serious accident will occur in twenty years, and EDF has topped the list of potential candidates. Level ecology, the argument of nuclear "decarbonised", without emission of CO2, is false, it only serves to maintain the central part of the "green growth".

Fifty reactors by 2050

Fortunately for us, EDF promised to start construction after the completion of Flamanville. The company also has a slight liquidity problem, a debt of 37 billion euros, so no one knows how it will finance the new reactors (24 billion euros!), Except the state, perhaps, that will inject 4 billion in capitalization and shares by May 2017. and then there are the associations appeal to the courts.

EDF's goal is to build a fifty 2050. Either the renewal of the French park reactors, more than the English park. But it is a headlong rush widely denounced as EDF is profitability crisis, particularly due to the overall decline in electricity prices, which was not really expected any more than the current overproduction (energies renewable are productive, self-consumption is fashionable).

This is because EDF has more than enough to finance other programs it has negotiated a lifespan of central forty years now and beyond, with the proposed "major overhaul" before " to upgrade "central to extend.

But remember that this very risky bet will cost 100 billion euros to the group in the years to come[3]. EDF, nearing economic collapse, would do better to focus on takedowns. Because the only achieved so far, on the site of Brennilis, lasts since 1985, and there has yet to fifteen. The logic of irresponsible oversizing inherited from the first wave of reactors should it be pursued?

The Hinkley case, and all the renewal of the nuclear fleet reveal the bankruptcy of an unsustainable economic model without state subsidies. And now this model driven by others, remain debt and radioactive waste. Greatness of France.

Pippin drowned, Al Aveyron

[1]The Duck chained , No. 5004, September 21, 2016.


[3]Alternative Libertaire , No. 264, September 2016.

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