Poweo says eyeing role in new French nuclear plants

Friday, July 4, 2008

PARIS, July 4 (Reuters) - French alternative power supplier Poweo on Friday said it was interested in taking part in the construction of new-generation European Pressurised nuclear Reactors (EPR) in France.

"Poweo has long expressed its interest in co-investing in an EPR, and today confirms its interest in being associated either to the Flamanville site under construction, or to the new project along with other energy players involved," the company said in a statement.

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Greenpeace tries to delay French reactor work

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

PARIS (Reuters) - Greenpeace France activists on Wednesday blocked for the second day the entrances of three of the four quarries used by EDF to build its new-generation nuclear reactor, the environmentalist group said.

But French power group EDF said the action was not preventing building of the 1,600-megawatts reactor.

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Safety authority asks for steam generator measures

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Electricité de France has been given until 30 September to implement preventative safety measures in steam generators at its French nuclear reactors including plugging tubes affected by an anomaly in anti-vibration measures.

France's Nuclear Safety Authority (Autorité De Sûreté Nucléaire, ASN) has released a letter issued to the utility on 24 April calling for some steam generator tubes to be plugged to prevent the risk of their rupturing. The company must also implement enhanced measures to detect leaks between primary and secondary coolant circuits pending the completion of the plugging work.

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French watchdog fears for reactor project skills

Monday, June 23, 2008

France’s nuclear safety watchdog intends to “make an example” of the country's first reactor project in 20 years, amid concerns that many of the skills for building nuclear power stations may have been lost.

The watchdog had ordered EDF, operator of France’s 58 nuclear power stations, to halt work three weeks ago after it discovered problems with quality controls and with the iron frame of the concrete structure being put in place by Bouygues, the French construction group.

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The reality of France's aggressive nuclear power push

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

* Developing countries that have expressed interest in French nuclear power technology can't implement it anytime soon.
* A French-led global nuclear power renaissance is problematic, since the country's nonproliferation record is poor.
* French nuclear reactors aren't as safe as its promoters claim.
* Nuclear power provides only a small portion of total French energy consumption.

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EDF ordered to halt work on reactor

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

France’s nuclear safety watchdog has ordered EDF to halt work temporarily at its flagship new generation nuclear power station after finding that the French electricity giant had failed to address deficiencies in quality controls.

The Nuclear Safety Authority, charged with inspecting France’s 59 reactors, said on Tuesday that it had detected anomalies in the reinforcement of concrete for the 1,600MW EPR reactor being built at Flamanville in northern France.

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British Energy bidder list narrows

Monday, May 26, 2008

Suez’s formal withdrawal from the bidding for British Energy further whittles down the official number of European energy groups that have expressed an interest in acquiring all or part of the nuclear power group.

In early April it was thought that British Energy was in discussions with five European energy companies about a possible bid or collaboration. The groups believed to be in the talks at the time were EDF, the French state-controlled energy group, RWE and Eon of Germany, Spain’s Iberdrola, and Centrica of the UK.

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Nuclear diplomacy

Saturday, May 17, 2008

British Energy proves a slow sell

EVEN today, 13 years after it was built, Britain's newest nuclear-power station looks futuristic, with its landmark white containment dome and the blue haze of Cerenkov radiation in the cooling pond. In contrast to the huge furnaces needed to burn coal, a reactor core at Sizewell B roughly the size of a smallish lorry produces 3% of Britain's electricity. But its construction was so controversial—sparking one of the longest planning inquiries ever—that, after it was finished, nuclear power was abandoned for a generation.

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British Energy bidding war hopes recede

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hopes of a bidding war for British Energy were dealt a blow yesterday after it became clear that Vattenfall, Suez and Eon were not planning to bid for the UK nuclear group.

This leaves RWE of Germany and France's EDF as the most likely bidders for the UK government's 35 per cent stake in British Energy before the deadline of Friday, May 9. Both companies - which have power generation operations in the UK - declined to comment.

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EDF faces challenge over nuclear technology

Saturday, May 17, 2008

EDF, the French utility, could face a legal challenge over the technology it has decided to use in building Britain’s latest generation of power stations.

EDF announced last May that it planned to employ Areva, the French nuclear energy group, but its decision, which was made without giving rival reactor manufacturers an opportunity to bid for the contract, could be illegal under European law, according to Ros Kellaway, partner and head of EU competition law in Eversheds.

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