Monday, October 18, 2021
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“If they see the light of day, small modular nuclear reactors will produce ruinous electricity”

Tribune. You’ve probably seen the striking images of chickens with their heads cut off and continuing to run erratically for a few moments. Well this image is a pretty good illustration of the state of the nuclear industry and its most fervent supporters like Emmanuel Macron.

One day, they assure that the future is “Mastodons” like the famous EPR (in English european pressurized reactor) with a power of 1,650 megawatts (MW), despite the incredible setbacks of the Finland and Flamanville shipyards which were to enter service in 2009 and 2012 respectively, which have still not been completed and whose insane additional costs have largely contributed to place their operators in the panade: Areva has gone bankrupt altogether, and EDF is in a critical financial situation.

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The next day, suddenly the solution would go through the SMR, that is to say in English small modular reactors and in French small modular reactors (PMR) whose power is between 10 and 300 MW. EDF has also already planned its 170 MW SMR, called “Nuward”. The panic that seizes the supporters of the atom is explained by an inescapable fact: the current reactors are at the end of their life and most will be definitively shut down within ten to twenty years, that is to say , when talking about energy, tomorrow morning.

A plethora of dilapidated reactors

The operating life extensions, recklessly granted by the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), and the ruinous work that EDF has to do (the so-called “large fairing” program and post-Fukushima measures) will only make it possible to save money. shortly – while still increasing the risk of disaster comparable to that of Fukushima.

We must also take into account a crucial fact: in the 1970s and 1980s, the construction in a short time of about fifty reactors was presented to us as a gigantic feat, which is indeed the case on the strict industrial plan. But it was above all a terrible strategic error: all these reactors will in fact reach the end of their life almost at the same time.

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If EDF has finally agreed to close its two oldest reactors, those of Fessenheim, it is because the electrician knows he is totally incapable of continuing to maintain a plethora of nearly 60 reactors which are quite dilapidated. This is also why the closure of at least fourteen other reactors is recorded.

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