AREVA, China, cracks in nuclear reactors, defective nuclear pressure vessel, EDF, England, environment, EPR, Finland, Flamanville, France, French State owned corporations, graphite reactors, high carbon steel, Hinkley Point, low carbon steel, New Nuclear Reactors, nuclear discharges, nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear reactor construction projects, old nuclear reactors, quality testing, ratepayer, Solidarity, Somerset, steel defects, Taxpayer, testing, UK, unfair subsidies
[Update: Unfortunately, our post remains relevant for both the UK and the defective Flamanville. Like a cheap Penny Stock mining company, fleecing the French taxpayer, probably trying to fool potential Chinese investors, and letting construction companies continue to make money (our words, not the words of the Ecologist), EDF continues to postpone its decision on Hinkley Point Nuclear Reactors in the UK. “EDF’s Hinkley C offices occupied as UK nuclear hopes wither“, by Oliver Tickell, 15th February 2016 “An occupation of EDF’s site office for Hinkley C turned into a celebration today as the EDF Board postponed its ‘final investment decision’ for the tenth time. With strong opposition among French unions and the project afflicted by severe technical and financial problems, it’s not just Hinkley that’s going down, but the UK’s entire nuclear programme.” Read the Ecologist article here: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2987168/edfs_hinkley_c_offices_occupied_as_uk_nuclear_hopes_wither.html ] Note similar foot-dragging over the defective nuclear reactor pressure vessels at Flamanville, as discussed below.
Tomorrow, February 16, 2016, French State owned EDF is supposed to decide whether or not to continue with construction of two EPR nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset, England, or to cancel the project.
It is widely believed that EDF is trying to create a corporation to absorb its debt, after EDF absorbs Areva, and after which the new corporation would declare bankruptcy. However, as French State owned entities they can be perpetually bailed out by the French taxpayer. If Hinkley Point moves forward, they will be bailed out by the British ratepayer, as well. This game of the elites is neither in the interest of the French taxpayer, nor the British ratepayer, nor the environment. Ever increasing radioactive discharges from nuclear facilities mean that taxpayers will have to pay for medical care needed due to increased cancer rates, along with other radiation induced illnesses.
From the SWAN web site, based on our quick, unofficial, translation of the original French (Most of the web site is in English):
The 16th of February 2016, EDF meets again to decide whether to go ahead with the construction project of two EPR nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point (Somerset, England).
Southwest Against Nuclear (SWAN) called for an international day against EDF on the 15 of February 2016 in order to put pressure on EDF to abandon the project at Hinkley Point, as well as all nuclear ambitions in the UK.
As the fiasco of the EPR nuclear reactor at Flamanville has been officially confirmed, it hasn’t stopped EDF from envisioning placing the defective lid, on the defective nuclear pressure vessel. [See more below]
As not one of the four EPR nuclear reactors under construction has started functioning (and so much the better) and accumulate all sorts of delays, whether in Finland, in France or China,
As EDF undertakes in France a costly and dangerous program of makeshift repair of its old nuclear reactors,
As EDF cannot finalize its financing plan without supplementary help from the French State, and thus from the taxpayer,
We call for the abandonment of nuclear power.
The original French found here:
https://southwestagainstnuclear.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/appel-a-occuper-les-locaux-dedf/ (The author of the French original adds that they support SWAN: We affirm our solidarity with those who, on the other side of the Channel, oppose the insane project of EDF by occupying offices, etc. of EDF.)
EDF needs to permanently shut down all of its old nuclear reactors in the UK, as well. Many, or all, have cracked graphite bricks which, if they break through, can keep the nuclear reactors from being shut down, leading to meltdown. The graphite could burn for days, emitting dangerous radioactive materials and further contaminating Europe, like Chernobyl. Cracks in graphite bricks at Hunterston B, Hinkley Point, Heysham 1, and Hartlepool could cause misalignment of the holes, thus significantly increasing the risk of an accident: “fuel rods could become jammed in the reactor, and misalignment could make it hard, if not impossible, to lower in control rods to close the power plant down.” See: “Why cracks at the cores of ageing AGRs worried safety inspector” https://www.theguardian.com/science/2006/jul/05/energy.greenpolitics
[ Update: According to the BBC, 16 Feb, 2016, “EDF to keep four UK nuclear plants open for years longer” By John Moylan, “Heysham 1 and Hartlepool will have their life extended by five years until 2024, while Heysham 2 and Torness will see their closure dates pushed back by seven years to 2030.” http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35583740 Notice Heysham 1 and Hartlepool had cracks in graphite bricks 10 years ago. Hunterston B, near Glasgow, was already twice extended: “Hunterston B nuclear power plant will run until 2023“, 4 December 2012 http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-20590915 The status of the Hinkley B appears unclear, though they seem to be getting year by year extensions. ]
On the Defective Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessel and Lid see: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/dangerously-defective-nuclear-reactor-pressure-vessel-at-new-epr-flamanville-areva-wants-more-tests-to-prove-it-is-ok-its-not-ok-a-bas-areva/
Based on our unofficial translation of the Press Release from the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), last December:
The EPR Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessel of Flamanville 3: the ASN has no objection to the start of a new test program, 16 Dec. 2016
L’ASN took a position on the 12th of December 2015 on the steps of justification of the mechanical properties of the cover and the bottom of the EPR nuclear reactor pressure vessel of Flamanville 3, proposed by Areva. Subject to taking into consideration its observations and demands, l’ASN considers acceptable, in principle, the steps proposed by Areva and is not making an objection to the start of the new program of tests planned.
L’ASN rendered public on the 7th of April 2015 the information relative to the anomalies of the steel composition at the centre of the cover and the bottom of the [nuclear reactor] pressure vessel of the EPR of Flamanville 3. These anomalies are linked to the presence of a large concentration of carbon, which leads to mechanical properties less good than expected. [This is NOT “less good” as the French Nuclear Safety Authority calls it, it is very, very bad, as discussed in our post from last April with link above. Perhaps they had low expectations, however.]
AREVA transmitted to the ASN a file presenting the steps which it visualizes in order to justify that the mechanical properties of the material used for the cover and bottom of the pressure vessel of the future EPR reactor at Flamanville are sufficient.
The steps will notably be supported by the results to come from a new program of mechanical and chemical tests. [In other words they will play around with it until they get what they want? Won’t this make more damage?]
After a joint hearing on this case by the IRSN and ASN, on the 30th of September 2015, the ASN met with the Permanent Group of Experts on Nuclear Equipment under Pressure (GP ESPN). The GP ESPN submitted to ASN an opinion and recommendations. On this basis ASN has taken position on the steps chosen by Areva in formulating observations and additional demands.
The results of the new test program will be an essential element for ASN making a decision on the service aptitude of the cover and bottom of the EPR nuclear reactor pressure vessel of Flamanville 3. The test program will be carried out over the course of several months. Original French here: http://www.asn. fr/Informer/Actualites/Cuve-de-l-EPR-de-Flamanville-3-nouveau-programme-d-essais “Cuve de l’EPR de Flamanville 3 : l’ASN ne formule pas d’objection au lancement du nouveau programme d’essais“, 16/12/2015 (OGL)
Flamanville Coordinates exported to Google Earth from here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flamanville_Nuclear_Power_Plant
There is a less detailed press release in English, but we only found it after doing the translation. And, the French makes it much more clear that they are seeking a justification to use this dangerously defective (and costly) nuclear reactor pressure vessel. They continue testing in order to find justification. The translator is bilingual and has studied and earned degrees from both French speaking and English speaking universities. Nonetheless, the original is always the original. A translation is never the original. And, translation is a special skill. This is especially true for technical areas. These translations were done quickly in the interest of expediency. If you need them for any official purpose, always return to the French original.