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Public acceptance of safe and reliable nuclear power in France

Posted by Anonymous User 
Anonymous User
Public acceptance of safe and reliable nuclear power in France
January 29, 2011 10:00PM
PARIS—Across the French countryside, within sight of villages and towns, thick clouds of steam rise from giant cooling towers at 58 nuclear energy plants that provide more than three quarters of the nation's electricity. In this, France far outpaces other countries, with Japan second at about 34 percent of its electricity. Nuclear power supplies about 20 percent of the electricity in the United States, where public anxieties and high costs have prevented construction of new reactors since 1979.

This reliance has made France something of a poster child for nuclear power. Now, around the world, nuclear power is getting a fresh look as an alternative to using oil, natural gas, and coal that produce climate-changing carbon emissions. And the French government sees an opportunity. It is preparing to build a new generation of reactors and to step up sales abroad of its technology. "France has become one of the leading countries capable of exporting technology around the world," says Luis E. Echávarri, the director general of the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. It is, he adds, "in a very strong position."

While France's heavy dependence on nuclear power has been popular—seen as a source of jobs and a safeguard against energy shortages—that view is being challenged. Opponents are warning that the new nuclear plants are too costly and will produce more dangerous waste that contains significantly higher levels of radioactive material. It's not clear whether such opposition will hinder the government's plans.

Facts about safe and reliable nuclear power in France:

• France derives over 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy. This is due to a long-standing policy based on energy security.

• France is the world's largest net exporter of electricity due to its very low cost of generation, and gains over EUR 3 billion per year from this.

• France has been very active in developing nuclear technology. Reactors and fuel products and services are a major export.

• It is building its first Generation III reactor and planning a second.

• About 17% of France's electricity is from recycled nuclear fuel.


Widespread Public Acceptance

The lack of real debate here until recently, critics say, was less a vote of public support than a failure in the French political system. "Nobody asked the French people what they thought," remarks Jean-Philippe Desbordes, author of Atomic Park, a book critical of the French program. "France is much less democratic than the United States."

That's not entirely true, since polls over the years consistently have shown public support, in no small part owing to the active encouragement of the government. France's ambitious nuclear energy program was first established by Gen. Charles de Gaulle in 1958, but it was not until the 1973 oil shock that nuclear power became a national priority. The first plants built by the nationalized electricity company Electricité de France, known as EDF, were based on American technology under license from Westinghouse. But France has since become a major developer and exporter of nuclear energy technology.

Today, the French nuclear program is making a new growth push. In January, President Nicolas Sarkozy announced the construction of a new-generation European pressurized water reactor, or EPR, in Penly in northern France. The project is expected to employ some 2,000 workers during the five-year construction period and cost $2.3 billion.

The new reactor will be more powerful than any currently in commercial use. It will consume 15 percent less uranium while producing 30 percent less nuclear waste. The waste, however, will be considerably more radioactive than that produced by older reactors.However, this waste can be easily recycled and reused at half the expense of producing and storing conventional fuel for natural gas or coal-fired electric power plants.
Oh yeah, that safe and clean nuclear energy.

Nevermind that there is really no plan to deal with all the nuclear waste that's built up and that it is leaking radioactivity into ground water supplies.

[www.commondreams.org]

And that their "recycling" has been an abject failure.

[www.citizen.org]

And that they are having to transport their waste to other countries like Russia.

The idea that nuclear energy is a solution to anything is a total farce.

[www.perspectivesonglobalissues.com]

The only real development that has a silver lining in nuclear energy is Thorium reaction... but there's no push for it because you can't make weapons from the waste.

[www.cosmosmagazine.com]
Re: Public acceptance of safe and reliable nuclear power in France
January 29, 2011 11:19PM
Large protests took place in Germany and France over the weekend over the transporting of nuclear waste between the two countries. Tens of thousands of protesters took part in one of the biggest anti-nuclear rallies in years. Police in France had to cut free people who had chained themselves to the railway track on which the spent nuclear fuel would pass. The protestors caused a lot of disruption to the shipment, the first in two years. Authorities had to secretly reroute the convoy of 11 train cars to prevent those protesting causing a serious accident. The 154 tons of waste eventually crossed the French-German border and arrived in the town of Dannenberg early Sunday morning. It will be used by Germany’s nuclear power agency to provide the country with electricity.

The shipments of nuclear waste have been a controversial issue over the past decade. There was extra tension in Germany this year because of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to keep her country’s 17 nuclear power plants working for 12 years longer than was planned. Many fear this will increase the likelihood of accidents. There is considerable public opposition to her plans in Germany. Over 50,000 activists rallied in Dannenberg. A Green Party leader, Juergen Trittin, told the huge crowd: "Merkel provoked society by extending the lifespan of nuclear power and this is the people's answer." Protestor Elke Hinrichsmeyr, 71, said: "We're horrified that this government wants to extend the use of nuclear power. They've ignored the will of the people."

[www.breakingnewsenglish.com]
PowerToThePeople Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Large protests took place in Germany and France
> over the weekend over the transporting of nuclear
> waste between the two countries. Tens of thousands
> of protesters took part in one of the biggest
> anti-nuclear rallies in years. Police in France
> had to cut free people who had chained themselves
> to the railway track on which the spent nuclear
> fuel would pass.

This is funny!

The protestors did more damage to the environment than the limited amount of nuclear waste!

It was Winston Churchill who wisely said, "If you are young and not a liberal, you have no social conscience; if you are older and not a conservative, you have no common sense!


Re: Public acceptance of safe and reliable nuclear power in France
January 30, 2011 01:49AM
The protestors did more damage to the environment than the limited amount of nuclear waste! - Cessna

What environmental damage did the protestors cause? confused smiley

If they caused any, which is doubtful, it couldn't have been nearly as bad as this:

Radioactive Waste Leaking into Champagne Water Supply

PARIS - May 30 - Greenpeace today revealed that France's iconic sparkling wine, Champagne, is threatened by radioactive contamination leaking from a nuclear waste dumpsite in the region. Low levels of radioactivity have already been found in underground water less than 10 km from the famous Champagne vineyards.

Problems at the dumpsite, including water migration leading to fissures in the storage cells have been reported to French nuclear safety agency in recent weeks (1). Greenpeace has written to the Comita des Producteur de Champagne to warn them that their production risks contamination, as experienced by dairy farmers in la Hague, Normandy.

The waste dump, Centre Stockage l'Aube (CSA) in Soulaine eastern France, contains mostly waste from Electricite de France (EdF) and AREVA, but also includes foreign nuclear waste disposed of illegally under French law (2). Every week nuclear waste is trucked across France to the Champagne site. Once full, the dumpsite will be one of the world's largest with over 1 million cubic meters of waste, including plutonium and other radionuclides.

ANDRA, the national nuclear waste agency operating the site, stated that it would not release any radioactivity into the environment when given permission for the dumpsite in the late 1980's. Greenpeace research released last week showed levels of radioactivity leaking from another dumpsite run by ANDRA in Normandy were up to 90 times above European safety limits in underground water used by farmers, and that the contamination was spreading into the countryside (3). The Champagne site will receive a total of 4 thousand terabequerels of tritium; more than three times the amount of tritium waste as the dumpsite in Normandy.

"We have been told for decades that nuclear dumpsites will not leak and that the best standards are being applied. In reality the dumpsite in Normandy is a disaster, and radioactivity is already leaking from the dumpsite in Champagne," said Shaun Burnie nuclear campaigner at Greenpeace International. "The authorities know they have a problem in Champagne already, with mistakes in the design. This is only the beginning of the problem, the bigger picture is that France has a nuclear waste crisis out of control that is threatening not only the environment and public health but also the economy of the Champagne region."

In addition to the problems with the waste stores at the site, Greenpeace has learnt recently that French nuclear safety agency DGSNR has written to AREVA seeking clarification of the type of waste being disposed of at the Champagne site (4).

In addition to the low and intermediate waste site, a new high-level waste dumpsite is being planned in Bure also in the Champagne region, in which the most radioactive material in France would be deposited. Plans to build a high level waste facility in the Rhone Valley were scrapped a few years ago after strong opposition by the wine producers due to the threat to their vines and wine production.

"The Champagne producers are facing two nuclear timebombs - one already leaking at Soulaine, and one planned at Bure. The wine producers in the Rhone region stood up to the nuclear state in France and won. The Champagne region needs to act fast before it's too late," said Fred Marillier of Greenpeace France. "The French Government must stop this madness. The new facility must not accept any more waste, and an immediate investigation launched into how to stop further contamination of ground water."

Despite having a nuclear waste crisis EdF is seeking approval to build a new reactor at Flamanville, which will increase the amount of high-level waste. Today EdFs nuclear reactors produce 1,200 tonnes of highly radioactive waste every year. The waste expected from the new reactor would be the most hazardous waste ever produced in a French nuclear power reactor (5).

The French Senate will debate later today and vote tomorrow on the future disposal of nuclear waste in France.

( Cascade's commondreams link )
"The waste dump, Centre Stockage l'Aube (CSA) in Soulaine eastern France, contains mostly waste from Electricite de France (EdF) and AREVA, but also includes foreign nuclear waste disposed of illegally under French law (2). Every week nuclear waste is trucked across France to the Champagne site. Once full, the dumpsite will be one of the world's largest with over 1 million cubic meters of waste, including plutonium and other radionuclides. "

And it's leaking.

It's better to put a stop to nuclear power and find better alternatives than to allow it to continue.
PowerToThePeople Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The protestors did more damage to the environment
> than the limited amount of nuclear waste! -
> Cessna
>
> What environmental damage did the protestors
> cause? confused smiley
>
> If they caused any, which is doubtful, it couldn't
> have been nearly as bad as this:
>
> Radioactive Waste Leaking into Champagne Water
> Supply
>
> PARIS - May 30 - Greenpeace today revealed that
> France's iconic sparkling wine, Champagne, is
> threatened by radioactive contamination leaking
> from a nuclear waste dumpsite in the region. Low
> levels of radioactivity have already been found in
> underground water less than 10 km from the famous
> Champagne vineyards.
>
This problem with nuclear waste has a very simple and reliable solution. Instead of finding a decent and safe place to bury the stuff, place the waste in a sealed cargo device, set the cargo device atop a three stage booster rocket and send the device with the stuff in it into the sun where it will be vaporized and completely destroyed.

Case close, problem solved!
Re: Public acceptance of safe and reliable nuclear power in France
January 30, 2011 05:47AM
Do you believe that the government of France hasn't taken the course of action you just laid out because no one in the government has thought of that?
Re: Public acceptance of safe and reliable nuclear power in France
January 30, 2011 06:00AM
Let's not forget "Mr. Cessna"s party's favorite issue when it comes to nuclear power... terrorism. Transporting that waste on trains with miles of unsecured tracks? You could blow up a train, or steal the waste for dirty bombs, etc.. Just another problem with no solution.

Plus - as already stated - nuclear power is not financially viable. This is the problem the wingnuts always have with solar and wind - you can't make money off it. Guess what? You can't make money off nuclear power either. It requires the GOP's worst nightmare scenario to be viable... GOVERNMENT SUBIDIES.
Re: Public acceptance of safe and reliable nuclear power in France
January 30, 2011 06:11AM
James Cessna,

"Instead of finding a decent and safe place to bury the stuff, place the waste in a sealed cargo device, set the cargo device atop a three stage booster rocket and send the device with the stuff in it into the sun where it will be vaporized and completely destroyed. "

Rockets sometimes go boom, James. eye rolling smiley
Indy! Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Plus - as already stated - nuclear power is not
> financially viable. This is the problem the
> wingnuts always have with solar and wind - you
> can't make money off it. Guess what? You can't
> make money off nuclear power either. It requires
> the GOP's worst nightmare scenario to be viable...
> GOVERNMENT SUBIDIES.

Sources?

Without reliable sources, these comments are mere speculation and unsupported conclusions on your part!


James Cessna


By the way, check this out!

Facts about safe and reliable nuclear power in France:

• France derives over 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy. This is due to a long-standing policy based on energy security.

• France is the world's largest net exporter of electricity due to its very low cost of generation, and gains over EUR 3 billion per year from this.

• France has been very active in developing nuclear technology. Reactors and fuel products and services are a major export.

• It is building its first Generation III reactor and planning a second.

• About 17% of France's electricity is from recycled nuclear fuel.


Reason for edits: format changes.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/30/2011 06:17AM by James Cessna.
Anonymous User
Re: Public acceptance of safe and reliable nuclear power in France
January 30, 2011 06:16AM
Navy2711 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> James Cessna,
>
> "Instead of finding a decent and safe place to
> bury the stuff, place the waste in a sealed cargo
> device, set the cargo device atop a three stage
> booster rocket and send the device with the stuff
> in it into the sun where it will be vaporized and
> completely destroyed. "
>
> Rockets sometimes go boom, James. eye rolling smiley

As happened 25 years ago on this date when the Challenger exploded. Imagine if it were loaded with nuclear waste.
Re: Public acceptance of safe and reliable nuclear power in France
January 30, 2011 06:38AM
James - If you researched the funding of the nuclear power facilities that are currently in operation in the U.S., you'd find that they were all built with huge government subsidies. Besides the high costs of designing and building the facilities, insurance costs are astronomical.
Curt Anderson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Navy2711 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > James Cessna,
> >
> > "Instead of finding a decent and safe place to
> > bury the stuff, place the waste in a sealed
> cargo
> > device, set the cargo device atop a three stage
> > booster rocket and send the device with the
> stuff
> > in it into the sun where it will be vaporized
> and
> > completely destroyed. "
> >
> > Rockets sometimes go boom, James. eye rolling smiley
>
> As happened 25 years ago on this date when the
> Challenger exploded. Imagine if it were loaded
> with nuclear waste.

Curt,

It is not a problem.

The sealed cargo device can be designed to survive a sub-orbital explosion not break apart on surface impact.

Using these devices, NASA delivers radioactive materials into space all the time. These devices are power generators and are called RTGs. They provide reliable electrical power for NASAs deep space satellites.

Can you imagine what the anti-nuclear protestors would say and do if they actually knew when these secret launches actually occurred?

By the way, a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG, RITEG) is a nuclear electrical generator that obtains its power from radioactive decay. In such a device, the heat released by the decay of a suitable radioactive material is converted into electricity by the “Seebeck” effect using an array of special power convertors
.
Re: Public acceptance of safe and reliable nuclear power in France
January 30, 2011 06:48AM
You blew it on the sourcing, "Mr. Cessna". I sourced everything in my post about the $73 an hour lie and you claimed the source wasn't credible (Dollars and Sense Magazine - a highly credible source). So from here on out I know there is no reason to source anything I say to you. Just as you never source your info.

Hey - makes life easier, don't it? Besides - everyone on the board already knows I do not lie. SO we can just assume from here on out that everything I say is valid.

smoking smiley
* Nuclear power continues to be uneconomic without large government subsidies.
* Federal subsidies for new plants are worth 4 to 8 cents per kWh (levelized cost basis) of nuclear-generated electricity, 60-90% of the generation cost for a new plant. Thus, the majority of the cost of these new plants is being paid by the public, though all of the profits if the plants are successful will be retained by the investors.
* Studies on the economics of nuclear power over the past few years routinely ignore baseline subsidies (worth 0.8-4.2 c/kWh) to nuclear in their calculations of economic viability of the technology. Many also use unrealistic assumptions for the cost of capital.
* The Price-Anderson Act, which limits investor liability for damages that nuclear accidents cause the surrounding population, provides coverage of diminishing value.

[www.nirs.org]

TOTAL subsidies for nuclear power: $91.9 billion - $170.8 billion

Nuclear Power Subsidies Will Shift Financial Risks to Taxpayers

[www.ucsusa.org]
Re: Public acceptance of safe and reliable nuclear power in France
January 30, 2011 07:31AM
James,

An RTG is about 6 feet long. What do they weigh? ... a few hundred pounds? We have tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste.
IF we're going to insist on nuclear power then we should insist on Thorium reactors.

But this is a nice new development that seems to have some promise:

New reactor paves the way for efficiently producing fuel from sunlight
[www.physorg.com]
Re: Public acceptance of safe and reliable nuclear power in France
January 30, 2011 08:51AM
There is no reason to go to nuclear energy. Instead we should put nuclear on the list with coal and gas as sources of energy to move away from. The way forward is a combination of geothermal, hydroelectric, wind, solar, and to a lesser extent landfill gas. Newer technologies may be included as well, such as wave power (but IMO the jury is still out on that).

This is what is safest, most secure, most environmentally sound, and most prudent. Drawing energy from a range of sources instead of relying on one kind. A decentralized approach with many small producers instead of a small number of mega-facilities. Emphasizing reduced energy usage and encouraging homeowners and small businesses to become energy producers by installing solar panels and/or windmills.

A few years ago, our community college installed a massive collection of solar panels. The project cost $35.2 million for three schools. Of that, $8.5 million was offset by the state, and the remaining cost was funded by a local bond measure. In the long run, it more than pays for itself -- it's estimated to save the district $70 million in energy costs over 25 years. Aside from the cost savings to the schools it also benefits the state by reducing demand on the power grid. This is exactly the kind of thing we need to be doing more of. Unfortunately, we've been held back by the budget crisis. But it's certainly cheaper than building new nuclear power plants.
What would happen if the sun stopped shining? I bet you never thought about that!
Re: Public acceptance of safe and reliable nuclear power in France
January 30, 2011 05:16PM
"This problem with nuclear waste has a very simple and reliable solution. Instead of finding a decent and safe place to bury the stuff, place the waste in a sealed cargo device, set the cargo device atop a three stage booster rocket and send the device with the stuff in it into the sun where it will be vaporized and completely destroyed.

Case close, problem solved!"
-Jim

This isn't a matter for ridiculously stupid jokes, James. The nuclear waste issue is a very serious one that The Powers That Be wish everyone would simply ignore because there really is no safe, economical way to dispose of this stuff. But they just have to keep on generating it.

Ponderer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "This problem with nuclear waste has a very simple
> and reliable solution. Instead of finding a decent
> and safe place to bury the stuff, place the waste
> in a sealed cargo device, set the cargo device
> atop a three stage booster rocket and send the
> device with the stuff in it into the sun where it
> will be vaporized and completely destroyed.
>
> Case close, problem solved!" -Jim
>
> This isn't a matter for ridiculously stupid jokes,
> James. The nuclear waste issue is a very serious
> one that The Powers That Be wish everyone would
> simply ignore because there really is no safe,
> economical way to dispose of this stuff. But they
> just have to keep on generating it.

I am compensating for your inablily to accept a good, practical solution when you see it.




Plato -
- "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men (like many progressives in this forum!) are afraid of the light".
Re: Public acceptance of safe and reliable nuclear power in France
January 30, 2011 05:35PM
Practical.

Did you just actually use the word practical in defence of possibly the most astronomically expensive, most extremely dangerous, most logistically impossible "solution" to the nuclear waste issue ever proposed...? Yeah, that's a good one! grinning smiley

With all due respect, I am not going to insult your intelligence by seriously entertaining the possibility that you weren't joking.

jeff. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There is no reason to go to nuclear energy.
> Instead we should put nuclear on the list with
> coal and gas as sources of energy to move away
> from. The way forward is a combination of
> geothermal, hydroelectric, wind, solar, and to a
> lesser extent landfill gas. Newer technologies
> may be included as well, such as wave power (but
> IMO the jury is still out on that).
>





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/30/2011 05:46PM by James Cessna.
Ponderer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Practical.
>
> Did you just actually use the word practical in
> defence of possibly the most astronomically
> expensive, most extremely dangerous, most
> logistically impossible "solution" to the nuclear
> waste issue ever proposed...? Yeah, that's a good
> one! grinning smiley
>
> With all due respect, I am not going to insult
> your intelligence by seriously entertaining the
> possibility that you weren't joking.

Yes, Practical.

By the way, check this out!

Facts about safe and reliable nuclear power in France:

• France derives over 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy. This is due to a long-standing policy based on energy security.

• France is the world's largest net exporter of electricity due to its very low cost of generation, and gains over EUR 3 billion per year from this.

• France has been very active in developing nuclear technology. Reactors and fuel products and services are a major export.

• It is building its first Generation III reactor and planning a second.

• About 17% of France's electricity is from recycled nuclear fuel.
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