Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

New nuclear power getting too expensive for Britain, and France

the world is experiencing a ‘glut’ of gas according to the IEA

 it is now looking increasingly likely that there will be no new nuclear power stations in Britain

 The decision on whether or not new nuclear is actually built in Britain will be taken in Paris, not London. And very possibly by a new French President less in thrall to the nuclear industry.

No More Nukes?, (UK)  February 17, 2012 by tomburke It is just David Cameron’s bad luck to have chosen to back a nuclear future for Britain at a moment when it is becoming increasingly unlikely that it will happen. And it is entirely appropriate that he should find himself doing so in Paris since that is where the fate of DECC’s nuclear policy will be determined.

The idea of replacing Britain’s aging AGRs with Areva’s EPR was always inspired by a French government seeking to close an emerging decades long gap in domestic nuclear orders. The justification for British homeowners and businesses being forced to pay for a French industrial policy was a supposed electricity generation gap.

Without French nuclear power stations, Britons would be freezing in the dark by 2015 according to energy ministers. This was always nonsense but has been made totally ridiculous by several recent developments. EDF has now announced that it is going to extend the life of the AGRs. There are 30GW of new gas planned or under construction and the world is experiencing a ‘glut’ of gas according to the IEA. So long generation gap.

This is fortunate as it is now looking increasingly likely that there will be no new nuclear power stations in Britain anyway. For all their protestations to the contrary, it is clear that none of the non-French projects have much chance of going ahead. None of the proposers have the balance sheet strength to finance such risky, capital intensive investments in these increasingly risk averse times.

Even EDF, with the implicit backing of the French government – albeit a government that has just had its credit rating downgraded – will be having second thoughts. The French National Audit Office recently recommended  dropping the EPR as too expensive. This repeated a recommendation made to Sarkozy two years ago by the former head of EDF, Francois Roussely,  who saw no future for it.

In any case, the decision to extend the life of EDF’s existing fleet of reactors in France will put huge pressure on its capital budget over the next decade. So far, even the most ingenious officials in DECC have found it hard to come up with a convincing device to transfer the construction risk of the four new reactors from the French taxpayer to the British consumer….

Britain’s current decarbonisation strategy is predicated on the construction of new nuclear. The consequence of DECC’s massively flawed and incoherent policy making is that its fate is no longer in British hands. The decision on whether or not new nuclear is actually built in Britain will be taken in Paris, not London. And very possibly by a new French President less in thrall to the nuclear industry…. http://tomburke.co.uk/2012/02/17/no-more-nukes/

February 18, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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