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Author Topic: France’s oldest nuclear plant to close  (Read 312 times)
dan_b
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« on: June 28, 2020, 02:00:59 PM »

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/28/frances-oldest-nuclear-reactor-to-finally-shut-down

Interesting
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dimengineer
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 02:39:45 PM »

Seems all reasonable to me. 43 years old, oldest unit.
Where the French will have a real problem is that they built the whole fleet quite quickly, so this is only the first of many to be closed in the next 10 years. Then where's the ellecy coming from?
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2020, 02:53:14 PM »

Where the French will have a real problem is that they built the whole fleet quite quickly, so this is only the first of many to be closed in the next 10 years. Then where's the ellecy coming from?

That's the easy part. They can push ahead with fast, easy-to-build onshore wind and PV over the next 3 years, which gives them enough time to really get offshore wind going, and push floating offshore wind along to the point where they can get deploying that too.

Where are the resources coming from to decommission? That's the hard part. They've been putting off starting this process for so long, because they know that as soon as they do, they're going to have to put realistic future liabilities on the books officially. Until now, they've been able to tell fairy tales about how little it's going to cost. Once they start doing it at one plant, that won't be tenable any more - they'll have to put more realistic prices on decommissioning the whole fleet. And at that point, the future of the French economy is going to start looking pretty bleak.
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Westie
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2020, 03:03:15 PM »

Where the French will have a real problem is that they built the whole fleet quite quickly, so this is only the first of many to be closed in the next 10 years. Then where's the ellecy coming from?

That's the easy part. They can push ahead with fast, easy-to-build onshore wind and PV over the next 3 years, which gives them enough time to really get offshore wind going, and push floating offshore wind along to the point where they can get deploying that too.

Where are the resources coming from to decommission? That's the hard part. They've been putting off starting this process for so long, because they know that as soon as they do, they're going to have to put realistic future liabilities on the books officially. Until now, they've been able to tell fairy tales about how little it's going to cost. Once they start doing it at one plant, that won't be tenable any more - they'll have to put more realistic prices on decommissioning the whole fleet. And at that point, the future of the French economy is going to start looking pretty bleak.

Of course they could find a stream of decommissioning revenue by selling another bunch of nukes to someone else facepalm
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 03:04:53 PM by Westie » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2020, 03:45:59 PM »

Where the French will have a real problem is that they built the whole fleet quite quickly, so this is only the first of many to be closed in the next 10 years. Then where's the ellecy coming from?

That's the easy part. They can push ahead with fast, easy-to-build onshore wind and PV over the next 3 years, which gives them enough time to really get offshore wind going, and push floating offshore wind along to the point where they can get deploying that too.

Where are the resources coming from to decommission? That's the hard part. They've been putting off starting this process for so long, because they know that as soon as they do, they're going to have to put realistic future liabilities on the books officially. Until now, they've been able to tell fairy tales about how little it's going to cost. Once they start doing it at one plant, that won't be tenable any more - they'll have to put more realistic prices on decommissioning the whole fleet. And at that point, the future of the French economy is going to start looking pretty bleak.

Of course they could find a stream of decommissioning revenue by selling another bunch of nukes to someone else facepalm

I gather that the UK has today announced that we are in the market for unicorns, wild geese, prize turkeys, and white elephants, so I expect the EDF sales team are on the phones right now.
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Philip R
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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2020, 08:00:45 PM »

Now if they had built their pressure vessels right in the first place, it would have been easier to extend the plant lifetimes which is possible on a PWR unit.
I have read that several US utilities have got life extension programmes running to run the power stations upto 80 years. The main issue for PWRs is corrosion, neutron embrittlement and politics. California and Germany are good examples of the latter.

Not strictly the oldest plants, but the oldest of the current PWR fleet. France developed gas cooled reactors similar to the Magnox reactors, using concrete pressure vessels like Oldbury on Severn and Wylfa, Theirs were better, the French ones had stainless core restraint fittings whereas ours were more of a mild steel, that corroded when they got hot.

As a complete aside, Fessenheim NPS was mentioned in The Enforcer, the third Dirty Harry film with Clint Eastwood.
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dan_b
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2020, 08:55:08 PM »

I read somewhere that Macron's pledge was to reduce the nuclear contribution down to 50% of overall consumption, with the gap made up from renewables, at some future point in time (not sure which year).  But actually what that means in practice is the current GWp of the French nuclear fleet will be more or less the same its just the new power capacity to meet future increased demand from electrification of transport will come from renewables. 
Of course, that assumption is based on EDF being able to actually build and get generating the EPR reactors at some point this century...
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Philip R
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2020, 10:34:54 PM »

PWRs are a lot easier to decommission than the UK Graphite cored reactors will be, as the reactor core and its containment is so much smaller and lighter. The coolant is run through ion exchange resin and discharged to the environment. The structural concrete will take some hammering to clear the site.
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