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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Jul 18, 2015 6:51 am 
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fab wrote:

The new model of EPR (the EPR NM) will be more simple than the current EPRs for what I heard.


I did read that EDF actually didn't like the EPR design at all in the late 1990s and early 2000s and that it had plans of its own with the REP 2000, that would build upon the latest N4 types that are now operational at Chooz and Civaux.

Will this EPR NM actually be more like the REP 2000 that EDF had originally in mind ?

It seems to me that the French need to make up their mind, despite the "grand carenage" maintenance programme of the current nuclear power plant fleet. The current 58 reactors will need to replaced with new reactors at some point. Or is France going build new coal-fired and gas-fired power plants ?


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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Jul 18, 2015 11:23 pm 
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Quote:
Will this EPR NM actually be more like the REP 2000 that EDF had originally in mind ?


Sorry, I don't know (and I guess that if I knew something I would not be authorized to say it).

Quote:
It seems to me that the French need to make up their mind, despite the "grand carenage" maintenance programme of the current nuclear power plant fleet. The current 58 reactors will need to replaced with new reactors at some point.


As you said, the plan is to increase the lifetime of the current reactors of 20 years in order to achieve a lifetime of 60 years, if they can pass the safety tests. For now France exports 12% of its electricity production, so if there is no more ecomical growth (like the last years ) there is no need for building new power plants, that's how I understand the situation. Maybe they will not extend the lifetime of one or two reactor and replace them with a new reactor in order to not loose to much experience, I don't know. There is also the ASTRID project (a 600MWe sodium fast reactor in order to prepare the generation 4), but the decision to build it or not will be taken after 2017. I see that some people in USA are speaking about a lifetime extension to 80 years for some american reactors so maybe the reactors in France will be extended to 80 years, or maybe there will be a nuclear phase out because of a new major accident.

EDF and Areva will try to get some contracts and build reactors in other countries, it is maybe the main purpose of the EPR NM.

Quote:
Or is France going build new coal-fired and gas-fired power plants ?

Well, the current government (the socialists) passed a law which says that the part of nuclear electricity production must be 50% in 2025. I hope that the next governments will cancel this stupid law but you see that the politicians can do everything.


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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Jul 19, 2015 7:11 am 
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The ASTRID project may well be killed if the Socialists are reelected in 2017, especially if there is a new coalition with the Greens. It will be the same as twenty years before (1997) when Superphenix was shut down by a Socialist-Green coalition.

In retrospect, it would have been better if the construction programme had been continued after the last N4 reactor came online at Civaux in 2002, some of the older reactors of the first type like at Fessenheim and Tricastin could have been replaced. The knowledge and experience would not have withered away, which appears to be very costly if you have to restart a construction programme after many years.

Let's hope that France will have a different and more sensible government in the future, not only with regard to nuclear energy matters.


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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Jul 20, 2015 6:09 am 
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EPR is overwhelmed by high costs and losses.
U S nuclear industry is drowning in shale gas.
Russia is building maximum reactors but may or may not survive jealous hindrances to its economy.
China and Korea are re-inventing the LWR.
Any heroes for nuclear energy?


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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Aug 11, 2015 2:03 pm 
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Transatomic is a hero, though not with LFTR.


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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Aug 12, 2015 1:30 am 
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Transatomic seem to have gone overboard with moderator. They should move to a simpler one than the exotic short life zirconium hydride. Just get some water circulating through a cooling arrangement in zirconium tubes. They may even get to build one if they do that. Nice recycling of used fuel.


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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Sep 12, 2015 12:24 am 
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http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Fl ... 09154.html
Now the revised estimate of EPR unit has increased to 11.8 euros each which works out to $8100 per kW. Last PHWR was built in India @ $ 1700/kW and revised estimates for new sanctions are @ Rs 15 lakh/kW ($2250/kW). Un-enriched fuel is also cheaper. Indians should scale up their production to 2-3 reactors per year rather than go for EPR at one of the sites as proposed.


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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Sep 13, 2015 3:31 am 
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Yes, there will be a postponement of another year. The Flamanville EPR is now likely to enter service in 2018. However, the silver lining is, that the purely politically motivated closure of the Fessenheim reactors (in Alsace), will also be postponed until 2018. These reactors are good to go until the mid-2020s, but were supposed to be shut down in 2016. The political landscape may well change in 2017 with the current leftwing president Hollande and his government being thrown out of office in May of 2017 and with a more nuclear energy-friendly government being voted in.


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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Nov 01, 2015 5:11 am 
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There was news in the French press this week about the EPR and the plans which EDF (the French government-owned utility) has with this reactor in the future. EDF wants to build 30 to 40 reactors of the type "EPR Nouveau Modèle" by 2050, to replace the current fleet. From the French business daily Les Echos:

http://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-servic ... 168690.php

(you can use Google Translate to translate the article)

Seems like a bad idea to me. I hope that Terrestrial Energy can ship its IMSR to France by 2030, which would probably save the French rate payers a lot of money in the long term.


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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Nov 01, 2015 1:57 pm 
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The French were leading in fast reactors at one time. They would have been better off if they had
A. Started using Th-Pu fuel in thir existing reactors.
B. Used the resultant 233U in fast reactors.
Instead they went for EPR and have lagged behind the Russians in both LWR and fast reactors.


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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Nov 01, 2015 2:13 pm 
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Phénix kind of worked and Superphénix became usable just before it was shut down - it didn't actually share anything significant in its design with its predecessor.
And Superphénix has the distinction of being the only European reactor that was directly attacked by terrorists, albeit only during its construction.


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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Nov 01, 2015 4:31 pm 
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Quote:
Seems like a bad idea to me. I hope that Terrestrial Energy can ship its IMSR to France by 2030, which would probably save the French rate payers a lot of money in the long term.


The EPR NM is simplified compare to the current EPR (which was designed to meet both french and german nuclear industries requirements). They also have the feedback of current constructions. So it will be cheaper than current EPRs. If Terrestrial Energy can really go under 50 $/MWh it will be cheaper.

However I am not sure if the design will be accepted in France and other countries. For example : the MSR companies want to be cheaper by simplifying the design. But if there is not enough redundant and diverse systems to remove decay heat, the safety authorities will maybe not be satisfied (I don't know I am just wondering, when I look to Sodium Fast Reactor concepts they generally have several technologies (dedicated passive and active redundant systems) to remove decay heat).

Quote:
Used the resultant 233U in fast reactors.


239Pu gives more neutrons in the fast spectrum of a Sodium Fast Reactor, we can breakeven with an higher burn-up (the Th/U cycle has interesting advantages too).


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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Dec 07, 2015 3:45 pm 
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Location: Taunusstein, Germany
Are the results of the regional elections in France yesterday good for nuclear power in France? I'm not saying that I particularly like right-wing nationalist. But found this:

http://www.francetvinfo.fr/elections/re ... heim_68740


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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Dec 07, 2015 5:55 pm 
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Quote:
Are the results of the regional elections in France yesterday good for nuclear power in France? I'm not saying that I particularly like right-wing nationalist. But found this:


As far as I understand the results of regional elections have very little influence over the nuclear industry. All the important political decisions are taken at the national level by the parlement (which is generally obedient to the president).

I looked at the program of the national front : they say that they want to conserve the nuclear industry for now until better renewable technologies are in the market. Generally the right-wing political parties are in favour of nuclear energy (with a few exceptions).

For Fessenheim : the situation now is that the nuclear power plant at Fessenheim will be closed when the EPR at Flamanville will be on the grid. There are two 900 MWe PWRs at Fessenheim, they are the oldest reactors of the fleet (nearly 40 years old). The current socialist government passed a law which says that the maximum nuclear power installed in France must remain under 63.2 GWe. Stupid law for me but I guess that they wanted to give some gifts to their "green" allies. When the EPR (1650 MWe) will be on the grid, the total nuclear capacity will be over 63.2 GWe so they decided to close the 2 reactors of Fessenheim. But EDF wants to extend the lifetime of the power plant. I guess that EDF bets that "the republicans" (the new name of the former UMP) will win the elections in 2017 and repeal the law so they can conserve the power plant.


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 Post subject: Re: Areva's EPR troubles
PostPosted: Dec 07, 2015 6:20 pm 
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fab wrote:
Quote:
Are the results of the regional elections in France yesterday good for nuclear power in France? I'm not saying that I particularly like right-wing nationalist. But found this:


As far as I understand the results of regional elections have very little influence over the nuclear industry. All the important political decisions are taken at the national level by the parlement (which is generally obedient to the president).

I looked at the program of the national front : they say that they want to conserve the nuclear industry for now until better renewable technologies are in the market. Generally the right-wing political parties are in favour of nuclear energy (with a few exceptions).

For Fessenheim : the situation now is that the nuclear power plant at Fessenheim will be closed when the EPR at Flamanville will be on the grid. There are two 900 MWe PWRs at Fessenheim, they are the oldest reactors of the fleet (nearly 40 years old). The current socialist government passed a law which says that the maximum nuclear power installed in France must remain under 63.2 GWe. Stupid law for me but I guess that they wanted to give some gifts to their "green" allies. When the EPR (1650 MWe) will be on the grid, the total nuclear capacity will be over 63.2 GWe so they decided to close the 2 reactors of Fessenheim. But EDF wants to extend the lifetime of the power plant. I guess that EDF bets that "the republicans" (the new name of the former UMP) will win the elections in 2017 and repeal the law so they can conserve the power plant.


That law, imposed by the Socialists, will indeed likely be thrown out of the window if the Socialists lose the election in 2017. However, politics regarding nuclear energy is quite strange in France. On the left, only the Greens (EELV) are adamantly anti-nuclear. But this party has split and is only a marginal force in French politics. The French communists (PCF), on the other hand, have supported nuclear energy.


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