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  1. There’s a reason the Union of Concerned (Trolls) Scientists are least hostile towards the EPR. It’s a financial turkey. I hope the UK scraps it in favor of any of the alternatives you listed.

    1. @FermiAged

      Why? Did you buy into the Mitsubishi demonization related to SONGS? Their steam generators had a minor flaw. They could have been repaired and functioned at full power for many years, but the owner gave up under political pressure.

      It’s about like buying a beautiful new automobile and trashing it because there was a flaw in the radiator that could have been repaired by a plug.

      1. SONGS steam generator pipes suffered from too much/strong vibrations. Probably caused by less support structures for the pipes as well as thinner pipes (which would give SONGS
        more flexibility, important with the introduction of more wind and solar in California).

        Not easy to solve. It probably requires a new design, which in total implies that SONGS had to wait at least another 18months before it could restart.

        1. Easy to solve. Virtual technical agreement by all parties the “too much/strong vibrations” in the SG tubes were a problem for LONG TERM operations above 75% power (one of those units ran a whole cycle at 100% with no tube leaks). And due to engineering mistake on the power upgrade, which increased both Primary and Secondary side flow rates. Plug tubes on the Primary side to get Primary flow down to acceptable flow, and don’t operate the plant above 75% to limit the Secondary flow. It ain’t even rocket science.

          The tube integrity is then proved just like it always is, initial hydro (instantaneous proof), and continued Surveillance Requirements (continuing proof).

          There is no technical reason SONGS had to be decomm-ed.

  2. Hi Rod, I’m a Brit and in general I agree with your comments but I’d like to point out the EU is full of English speakers. When I worked in Stockholm I was surprised at how many people spoke excellent English but after a while I found out that High School science and up was taught exclusively in English. In addition the many Polish workers in the UK speak good English. Where I live near West London has historically had a large Polish population centred around Free Poles who fought in WW2 but could not return afterwards.

    I’d definitely agree that replacing EPR with something that’s been demonstrated to work is a good idea.

    Getting rid of Austria’s influence may be harder – it depends on how the negotiations go.

  3. As an island nation, the UK doesn’t have a large population of climate skeptics,

    Well, yes and no. The UKIP, who was a big proponent of “Brexit,” are so-called climate “deniers.” On the other hand, the UKIP is a strong proponent nuclear power in the UK.

    Even though Areva, soon to become a part of EDF,

    That should be “Even though Areva, whose reactors, services, and fuels divisions are soon to become a part of EDF, …”

      1. “Fuel cycle services” means mining, enrichment, reprocessing, and disposal.

        The part that actually sells fuel assemblies to customers (and does core design, etc.) is going to EDF.

        1. @Brian Mays

          To clarify for other readers the people and facilities that are in Areva’s “fuels division” use raw materials to manufacture and sell commercial nuclear fuel that they have designed. That business is being purchased by EDF along with the reactors and services business units.

          The raw materials used to manufacture commercial fuel are supplied by the business units in the fuel cycle services and a number of other competitors around the world.

          Please correct me if I am wrong, but I assume that once the split is complete, the fuels division operating under the ownership of EDF will have no obligation to prefer Areva as a supplier of those raw materials.

  4. EDF, mainly owned by the French state, is the owner / principal of the scheduled NPP at Hinkley.

    With the Brexit, French state may no longer feel obliged to support EDF in such risky venture as a new NPP of £24billion (amount calculated by EU accountants). Especially since France itself intalled a law last year which implies that it moves away fast from nuclear.

    When EDF starts to pursue alternatives, there is little UK government can do under present legislation. So the Brexit may cause that Sizewell may become the first new NPP in UK (estimation 2030-2035).

    1. Bas – I don’t think so.

      Britain’s decision to leave the European Union will have no impact on EDF’s business and strategy and does not affect its project to build the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, the company’s chairman said on Friday.

      “As of today, we believe that this vote has no impact on our strategy,” CEO Jean-Bernard Levy told reporters in France, according to a transcript provided by EF’s British unit EDF Energy.


      French economy and trade minister Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday his country will continue to invest in nuclear energy, including providing support for utility EDF’s plan to build a nuclear plant in the UK, despite delays on existing projects and a reorganization of the French state-controlled industry. …

      A key element remains the Hinkley Point C project in the UK, a proposed GBP16 billion ($19.8 billion) project to build 3,600 MW of nuclear capacity in the southwest of the country. A decision on whether to go forward on the project has French government support, but is opposed by some EDF unions and executives, with a decision now expected in the autumn.

      Hinkley Point C is “very important for the French nuclear industry,” Macron said. The construction of the two EPR reactors at the site will benefit from the “delays and glitches” affecting two other EPR reactor construction projects in Finland and France, he said.

      Despite the decision of UK voters last week to exit the European Union, the UK is still a leading economic partner, Macron said.


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