Reuters: Last 24 hours have ‘killed’ French nuclear -Analyst — “It looks really bad”

Published: December 5th, 2012 at 11:51 am ET


Title: UPDATE 2-Enel pulls out from French EPR nuclear project
Source: Reuters
Author: Stephen Jewkes and Michel Rose
Date: Dec 4, 2012
h/t Enformable

Last 24 hours have ‘killed’ French nuclear – analyst

French power group EDF received a new blow on Tuesday when Italy’s biggest utility Enel announced its has pulled out from a project to build a next-generation nuclear reactor in northern France. […]

“In a way, the last 24 hours have killed French nuclear finally because the cost makes it totally impossible to export and now you have one of the few partners actively withdrawing; it looks really bad,” said UBS analyst Per Lekander. […]

Wikipedia: Nuclear power is the primary source of electric power in France. In 2004, 425.8 TWh out of the country’s total production of 540.6 TWh of electricity was from nuclear power (78.8%), the highest percentage in the world. France’s nuclear power industry has been called “a success story”

Earlier in the week the US nuclear industry was already discussing ‘losing’ in France: Meanwhile, In France … Losing the Nuclear Advantage

Published: December 5th, 2012 at 11:51 am ET


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61 comments to Reuters: Last 24 hours have ‘killed’ French nuclear -Analyst — “It looks really bad”


    there it is; party's over. When the French start jump'n ship, you know the jig is up! Now, the next big issue will be in figuring out the cost of cleaning up this nightmare. Still, it's good to know we're moving on; albeit…at a crawling pace.

    • WindorSolarPlease

      Don't worry about the cleanup AFTERSHOCK, they'll just hallow out some salt domes and throw everything down there. (SARC)
      Hits head on puter, saying when will they ever learn!!

    • Siouxx Siouxx

      Dear Aftershock, As with most other energy and food issues, this has nothing to do with the French or whatever nationality or country, it has to do with global banking. Nuclear will be finished in France and as one who lives 100 miles down the coast from this EPR, I truly hope it will, because it is no longer economically viable. Everything in this World, from fracking and GMOs, to pesticides and battery farming is about profit and nothing else. When the profit dries up, the practices stop. The only power the average man or woman has, is to eat away at the profits by personally not buying into it. This is being done by the fraction of 1% of the population, who use minimum electricity, get off the grid, don’t buy/rent modern (non-eco) housing, refuse electric heating and appliance mania. The rest has been done by Germany moving money into green energy and Fukushima, which was an accident waiting to happen since Enrico Fermi moved into the squash court.

      • Maggie123

        Interesting observation, Siouxx – I generally agree, but have never thought of a ratio ("done by the fraction of 1% of the population"); or of Germany as a solo significant agent of change on this. Hmm … probably right … hmm …

        (I well remember your descriptions a few months back on off-grid living and continue to keep them in mind – good to know you and those working with you are 'out there' – hope all is very well!)

        • Siouxx Siouxx

          Nice to hear from you Maggie123. Perhaps I am cynical but there are so few people who are still near enough to the land to see, know or care about what is happening to it, even if only from motives of how its health impacts upon us all. Germany, is not particularly 'green' but Frankfurt is shaping up as (or already is) the new Financial Centre and as such, since day 1 of Fuku, smart money has been going into alternative energy investment. Germany is also responsible for the closing of Fessenheim and I'm sure will close Cattenom too. French Nuclear makes its money from exporting power and technology, which is why I believe, Germany and now Italy (pulling out of the EPR) to be key instruments in these purely financial decisions. Maybe one day banking will have an epiphany, finally get a conscious and care enough to support alternative energy and organic farming per se but the bottom line to date has always been profit margins. It is also counter-productive for big money to support what is, at its best, small, local and sustainable. In the meantime the only tools mere mortals have is to scrape away in unison with their little metal coin. As regards progress, when we came here over 20 years ago I could count the organic and off-the-grid folks in the whole Department on one hand, now I couldn't even do that for just the local ones! All the very best! P.S. If you want an even greater financial black hole check ITER – or the obvious European (white) elephant in the room.

          • Maggie123

            Good to catch your reply, Siouxx – Am pasting link to ITER info for any who like myself might need a reminder.

            As to banking ever reaching an epiphany – it seems it's emerged from world views rooted in unquestioned 'rightness' of wealth/power accumulation, hierarchical social/economic structures, and earth along with most of its life and people as "other". Formulaic thinking deems these 'others' to be exploitable resources. (Am pretty sure you are well aware and have been for some time!)

            Snow here today, we don't get it often – need it badly – I'm having a "deep winter appreciation day", and return your greeting: All the very best!

            Link: ("The World's most expensive scientific gamble")- ITER, article date: Dec. 2011.

  • Isotope Isotope

    1. Several studies discuss the link between nuclear radiation and low fertility, and the negative effects of nuclear radiation on "reproductive" organs.

    2. Nuclear energy provides +/- 75% of the energy in France.

    Tie those 2 statements in with this article in today's news:

    >>French sperm count 'falls by a third'<<

    France may need to shut down all of their nuclear reactors just to maintain a population.


      interesting addition to this topic, Isotope. With so much residual damage being done to our global environment, makes me wonder if this isn't on purpose…

    • or-well

      French nukes & low sperm counts?
      The Nuclear pimpers won't tell men why
      they're going "limpers" despite how they try.
      If macho men knew how radiation deflates
      what they brag about among their mates,
      how it turns plums to prunes
      and grapes into raisins,
      they might decide that there's a good reason
      to shut nukes down now
      before they can't any squeezin'.

      Popeye ate spinach from Japan.
      Now he's got the hots
      in his bones and his glands,
      but not for his girl – sweet Olive Oyl,
      he can't give her a whirl
      because of isotopes in the soil,
      so he wants food imported
      but now it's too late –
      his male organ's distorted,
      he can't get a date,
      and his pal who likes burgers
      says "Popeye, my friend,
      watch who you call Wimpy
      and please to me lend
      enough for a burger
      of iodine beef with cesium cheese,
      I'll repay you Thursday –
      if I'm not dead
      from radiation disease."

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      "France may need to shut down all of their nuclear reactors just to maintain a population."

      But what kind of population will there be? Everyone here on Enenews needs to clearly understand 'mutagenisis':

      And what can be expected from 'Ionizing Radiation':

      This is the world's future. Remember the butterflies?
      5 generations tops.

  • dosdos dosdos

    The big problem is that when the nuclear industry finally capitulates and gives up tye ghost, they will dump it all in the taxpayers' laps to decommission all the plants and deal with the spent fuel, et al. They will give up when they have siphoned off any remaining funds and the companies are too broke to deal with the aftermath.


      my fear as well, dosdos…

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      "…they will dump it all in the taxpayers' laps to decommission all the plants…"

      Who stands to lose? Look at the top 20 investors in both the utilities that have NPPs and the corporations that built the NPPs.

      Follow the money trail, and who stands to lose becomes very apparent. And they have already passed all their economic losses onto the taxpayers already, so they won't have any problems passing on NPP costs to us.

      • Atlantis

        (I'm french) Nuclear has always been controled by military, that is the only (sad) truth about it. To know if nuclear is dead in france, you have to know if armies have more convinent weapons to do the mass destruction job, other companies retiring from projects won't have any significance. period.

        to change world you have to fight all lying enforcement mechanisms : election (that is NOT democracy), currency (that is NOT money), military (that is NOT peace), mass medias (that is NOT informative), religion (that is NOT spiritualy), …

    • Whatever—–at least it will get done, the cost is already externalized by these darn nukers.

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad


  • TepcoSievert TepcoSievert

    France is heading for a very painful awakening when it finally realizes the horrendous real cost of acting as a champion of nuclear power: its MOX fuel provided to Fukushima is now out of control, AREVA's so called expertise on decontamination is a proving to be a farce in Japan, nuclear waste piled in La Hague is an apocalyptic time-bomb, old NPPs like Fessenheim are already ruining Europe's environment, and the monstrous fusion reactor project ITER is notoriously ill-conceived and immensely dangerous. Yet politicians of all shades, in a characteristically non-cartesian fashion, continue to parrot the creed that nuclear power is cheap, safe and the way of the future.

    • Arizonan Arizonan

      @tepcosievert: +100000 Very concise, very informative. Thank you.

    • Atlantis

      politicians are just puppets. and in that case they just repeat words from armed forces.
      WWII never ended, armed forces are just in the shadows of al those government (france, GB, USA, japan and so on).

  • Dogleg Dogleg

    French owned AREVA was to start construction on a fuel reprocessing plant at the INEL site near Idaho Falls. The 10+ year project was expected to start hiring construction workers in Mar/Apr 2011. Many of my friends and coworkers (including myself) were very excited about the abundance of good paying long term jobs. Most of us had been suffering through the recession and knew if we could hold out a few more weeks, good times were soon to follow. As we all know, there was a tragic event on 311. Shortly after 311 it was announced that the project was being delayed until that fall. I forget what their lame excuse was, but of course, it had nothing to do with Fukushima. I had a strong feeling they were abandoning the project, but could not admit it publicly. I began seeking work elsewhere and advising everyone I knew that they should do the same. I was met with much disbelief and some became angry with me and still are. I have trouble understanding their anger being directed towards me. I discovered over the next few months, that it was very taboo to even mention Fukushima on the job site. Cost me at least 2 jobs. Fuck em! I know what I know (thank you enenewsers) and feel an obligation to inform others. I know I have opened many eyes and that is what management and pro nuke pukes are so afraid of, might cost them a job. I was "Pro-Nuke Pre-Fuke" and can understand being misled/uniformed about the dangers of nuclear, but to suppress truth to protect your job is inexcusable.

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    Rats are leaving the ship!! So doing the Happy Dance! But, yes, the taxpayer will be on the hook.. we must demand that all original owners/builders/stockholders/boardmembers pay for decommissioning NOW, funds must be established..

    P.s. speaking of the french nukeleocrats.. remember this?

    "The Tennessee Valley Authority tentatively has agreed to work with the Department of Energy to try out MOX if it meets three criteria: It is operationally and environmentally safe; economically beneficial to TVA customers; and licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, TVA spokesman Ray Golden said in July."

    The plant is being built by Shaw Areva MOX Services LLC. The French-owned Areva also is the major contractor at TVA's stalled Bellefonte Nuclear Plant in Hollywood, Ala"

    Oh, and yes, that is Shaw of the famous Louisiana Sinkhole.. 🙁

    Damn dots connecting again..

  • How many old abandoned mines have they in the Tennessee Valley? Got to be subsidence waiting to happen there.
    I bet the L'aquila and other quakes in Italy didn't help them in looking for new nuke sites.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Just taking a moment to bask in the news that even historically pro-nuke France is being forced by the economic realities of nuclear to finally give up on nuclear energy. This feels really good. France may follow Germany into a non-nuclear future. Hooray!


      yes Philip…it is awesome news. Though this war is far from over, my hat's off to all of you good souls…and this site's administration! Keep up the good fight people…

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    I hope that the US government wakes up and stops any French and Japanese and Chinese and Russian building nuclear power plants and reactors and weapons in the US. When is the US going to hold the corporations responsible for failure. No more government money for failed tanks, failed corporations, failed technologies.

    The land belongs to the people, not to the globalized elite.

  • Isotope Isotope

    If you have trouble explaining to family/friends/co-workers why nuclear power is not a good energy source, this one-page summary explains it very well:


    It can be printed out or emailed.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    The risk of using reactors is to (( loose your country, for good )). Look what a melted reactor is doing to Japan. The concept of using this horrid method to create electricity is 100% asinine, at best.

    • bwoodfield bwoodfield

      Not just to create electricity, to boil water. The nuclear reaction is being created to heat and boil water to spin turbines. It's like setting your house on fire and burning all your possessions just to make a cup of tea.

  • Spookydark

    The situation is dire in France. Besides 59 NPPs, some of which located 300Km far from our border, a huge amount of heart containing uranium ore coming from progressively dismissed pits has been dispersed for decades throughout the whole country. Roads, parking and sporting spaces, parks, civilian houses and whole country villages have been built on a severely contaminated soil:

    In Italy, after the referendum against nuclear (03.23.2011), where we prevailed with 94.59% of people's approval, we are facing the usual problems with the decommissioning of our old NPPs and relative nuclear waste disposal. So, the fact that Enel announced their withdrawing from the building of one nuclear reactor at Flamanville in France it's very good news for the most of us:

    Nevertheless, and in despite of the referendum result, a group of one hundred scientists and technicians recently subscribed a letter to our prime minister Monti inviting him to carry on with the nuclear program, possibly taking in no account of the referendum. They were answered that a referendum result can't absolutely be eluded and consequently any available money will be spent esclusively for NPPs decommissioning.

  • Spookydark

    ….They were answered that a referendum result can't absolutely be eluded and consequently any available money will be spent eclusively for NPPs decommissioning.
    These people are dangerous both for themselves and the whole community. They need to be constantly kept under control.

    «Ce n’est qu’un début, continuons le combat»
    «Non è che l'inizio, continuiamo la lotta»
    «It's only the beginning, let's carry on the fight»

    Keep up the good work, American Citizens, the survival of our planet is the ultimate prize.

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    I don't know how they will ever clean up this mess they've made or if it's even possible at this juncture but I'm glad that things appear to be turning off nuclear power.

    • I've read that the technology to clean this mess up does not exist as of yet.

      • richard richard

        it would there is no technology to clean up the nukers mess.

        They have effectively declared war on future generations by dumping toxic delay shyte on them, with no way to deal with it.

        No one from the future has been asked if they mind taking care of this generation's poisonous by-products. No one has negotiated a peaceful agreement to sadly store and maintain the radioactive waste for eons.

        This is another criminal action by the nuke industry. They cannot be allowed to continue these crimes.

        To me, this is the most solid argument against the industry, as they simply have no answer on how to deal with the waste, or how to negotiate with people who have not been born yet.

        Force this issue down their throats, let them chock on their hubris.

        • richard richard

          doh, i'm getting tired of these auto-text correctors. too many computers and browsers and options.

          'sadly' should have been 'safely'. there's probably other errors, but i'm over it 😉

  • ftlt

    Why did the Italians pull out… Money is reported to be very tight in Italy now… This might not have been an anti Nuclear move on the Italians part… It is good news though…

    • Spookydark

      Enel pulled out because they sniffed the wind:

      As for Italians, they have always been pulling themselves out from the nuclear nightmare. The first referendum was in 1987 and they voted against nuclear:

      Afterwards, in the last years, our previous government tried again to force the nuclear option against people's will. People got organized, collected a number of signatures sufficient to call a further referendum and that government of buffoons was run down again, in 2011. That's true, money is very tight in Italy now, and this is just why they wanted to build NPPs. In the short run, it would have been the only way to avoid buying energy from neighbour states. As to the energy need, our government is starting now to go on a quite different avenue. There's no way for such an idiotic form or energy to pass here, and Enel financially suffered because of the renewed impossibility to build nuclear plants on the Italian territory. The shape of our country is narrow and long. Any nuclear accident inside our territory would break our country in two pieces:

      • Spookydark

        ….Any nuclear accident inside our territory would break our country in two pieces: it would become impossible for anybody to go from north to south and the other way round by normal transport means. People don't like to have plutonium dust under their feet or tires. Thanks God, people have always been well aware of that, no matter their political parties.

      • ftlt

        Spooky: Thanks for the answer

  • nedlifromvermont

    Go Enenews!!! Go 'newsers!!! Fight to Kill the Savage Beast which is Nuclear Power … with a truthful turn of a phrase …

    … Nuclear Power was always a cruel and cynical hoax … never needed … never justified …

    …. They fudged all the numbers and bought the politicians; now they are failing the verdict of history …

    … Just a few more, hard core, pro-nuclear dead-enders left to shame, to embarrass, to mock and to defeat in honest debate …

    JUST HOW MANY MORE KIDS DO YOU WANT TO KILL??? Jeffrey Immelt, head of GE, you pro-nuclear slime dog???

    I say: "Expropriate GE to make a down payment on the clean up, the reversal of the nuclear decision these corporate Josef Mengeles shoved down our throats …"

    … and they're silent on the radioactive messes their Rube Goldberg contraptions have left behind … Nothing but dead silence!!!!

    That's not corporate pride … that's not Six Sigma excellence … this silence is slack-jawed corporate IMPOTENCE!!! Get that, Jeffrey Immelt? You are limp inside your big Gulfstream Business Jet!!! Limply impotent cynical business gangster. Put that on your General Electric business card. And smoke it, you coward.

    … peace …

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    This is great news, but still EDF delivers electricity to 97% of French consumers. The usage of electricity in France is insanely high, as many households heat with electricity.
    It will be very hard for communities to set up their own supply and grid against EDF. So far, there are 12 communities running their own energy supplier, in Germany there are 4000.

    • Spookydark

      Don't be afraid, it won't be so hard for them. When three or four of the oldest NPPs go boom in France or elsewhere in our dear old Europe, which is likely going to happen in some years, and they realize large portions of their territory are lost for 400,000 years, everybody will get convinced then.

  • @BreadAndButter
    December 6, 2012 at 1:47 am
    Yes,true. Who would like to heat up to say 37 degrees from say 10 degrees centigrade from electricity from nukes or coal or hydro when the sun is shining? You can use a solar cooker by concentrating sunlight from mirrors on to a vessel full of water or a box type cooker depending on the use.

    • Atomfritz Atomfritz

      As Anne already said, it's because of heating, not because of cooking or making warm water.
      Electric heating could be the most ecological way of heating, if the energy were from hydro and wind energy plants.

  • Gnyf

    You're wrong about calling them french-men. Just stick to calling them french.
    The french has always been a bunch of wuzzies, and panzy's. Thats the reason that they have the most powerplants for a country that size. What they lack in their pants, they compensate for with nukes.
    France have no conscience at all. If you don't already know about it, then do some research. The facts is out there, and easy to find.
    There's is no reason at all to feel bad for France in any way. They have shown over and over again what they are all about.

  • bwoodfield bwoodfield

    Just like the tobacco industry should be paying for lung cancer research, the nuclear industry should be paying for a viable clean-up system. And I don't mean a hole in the ground. I mean creating a containment that could possibly use the radioactive decay in some constructive fashion. After all it's going to be around for the next couple million years. As well to pay for the environmental cleanup from the mining of fuel to fallout of reactors.

    Not only that but every company that has a NPP in it's inventory must pay into a fund that pays for medical expenses for all the people the made sick. From the mining and refining to all the generations that are going to be dealing with this fallout.

  • Atomfritz Atomfritz

    I think this could be the true reason why ENEL pulled the emergency brake:
    (link in French, use translator if needed)

    • Spookydark

      Very informative, thank you Atomfritz. Here's my translation for that article.

      « Observatoire du nucléaire – Statement of Tuesday, December 4, 2012

      EPR Nuclear Reactor: the delayed action bomb of which no one talks about

      – The nuclear fuel loading must be accomplished before Avril 11, 2017

      – EDF is engaged in a chase which can lead to a catastrophe

      The Flamanville EPR Reactor Creation Decree, signed on Avril 10, 2007, by the prime minister Dominique de Villepin and published the day after on the Republic Official Journal, contains one real delayed action bomb, the consequences of which are potentially catastrophic both for the EDF finances and European population health.

      Indeed, this decree states (article #3, line #2) that "The latency period before the nuclear fuel is loaded into the
      reactor for the first time is settled to ten years starting from the publication date of the present decree on the French Republic Official Journal, that is before Avril 11, 2017.

      At the publication time of this decree, when EDF was claiming to be able to build and implement the EPR in five years, a ten year delay time was considered extremely prudent, if not excessive. Nowadays, it's all the other way round.

      In facts, due to increased lead times, mishaps and other failures, EDF is by now under the sword of Damocles. The EPR activation is officially scheduled on 2016… if everything goes well. =>

      • Spookydark

        =>… if everything goes well. Yet, since the beginning of that disastrous construction site, everything is going bad.

        If further setbacks compromised the EPR fuel loading before the fateful date of Avril 11, 2017, the consequences would be
        immeasurable for EDF: the EPR creation decree would be no longer valid, the administrative procedure would have to be done all over again, including a new official debate plus one public inquiry, which would take several years.

        The EPR reactor, which could probably (who may know it?) have been completed in time, would hence be kept inoperative, with the result of destroying the EDF residual finances and credibility. It's at all evident that French autorities want at any cost to avoid such a disastrous scenario, which is already raising crucial questions.

        In effect, now that EDF has wasted all their "jokers", the risk is that the incoming faults are concealed with the aim of not exceeding the date of Avril 11 2017. EDF is going to exercise – or, they are alreading exercising – a moral pressure on the political executives as well as on the Nuclear Safety Autority leaders, whose presumed "independence" has already been catched out everytime the political stakes were decisive.

        It's hence clear that it's not only the bloodless EDF finances to be under threat of this sword of Damocles: it's the whole European population healt that is in play. =>

        • Spookydark

          =>… it's the whole European population health that is in play. Even in the absence of faults, the EPR, as well as any other nuclear reactor, is naturally susceptible to cause a catastrophe.

          But the EPR, badly designed and constructed, is probably one of the most dangerous nuclear reactors in the world. If, in
          addition, the EPR is put into service with hidden faults, it would be at all possible for a nuclear catastrophe to happen.

          The best way would surely be to follow the examples of the nuclear reactors that were completely built but never activated, as it already occurred at Lemoniz (Spain), Zwentendorf (Austria) or Kalkar (Germany).»

  • stopnp stopnp

    Good riddance. Take your waste with you.