Saturday, September 15, 2012

France's Hollande Promises Fessenheim Nuke Plant Will Be Shut Down in 2016, and No Shale Gas Exploration in France

Fessenheim Nuclear Power Plant, which had steam leak earlier this month, will be shut down in 2016. Caveat? Hollande's conditions are adequacy of energy supply and job security in the region without the plant. (Hmmm)

Before the elections, Hollande promised that France's reliance on nuclear energy would drop from the current 75% to 50% by 2025 by shutting 24 reactors.

Uh... How is he going to make up for the gap? Answer: biofuels.

And no, France will never do the shale gas exploration. (Congrats, Russia. Gasprom's propaganda worked, with the help from the French nuclear industry.)

From France 24, citing AFP (9/14/2012; emphasis is mine):

France's Hollande outlines 'green' energy policy

AFP - President Francois Hollande Friday pledged to close France's oldest operational nuclear plant in 2016 and rejected seven proposals for shale gas exploration on health and environment concerns.

"The Fessenheim plant which is the oldest in our country, will be closed at the end of 2016 in conditions that will guarantee the supply needs of the region... and safeguard all jobs," he said at the start of a two-day energy conference.

France, the world's most nuclear-dependent country, operates 58 reactors and has been a leading international proponent of atomic energy.

But in a deal with the Greens before this year's parliamentary and presidential elections, Hollande's Socialist party promised to cut reliance on nuclear energy from more than 75 percent to 50 percent by shutting 24 reactors by 2025.

Addressing 14 ministers and about representatives from environmental bodies and business, Hollande said the nuclear plant at Fessenheim -- commissioned in 1977 and the object of a recent safety scare -- would be closed.

The plant, located on the banks of the Rhine, is close to the Swiss and German borders and is considered vulnerable to seismic activity and flooding.

Hollande also said seven applications for permission for hydraulic drilling to explore shale gas had rejected by his government, although he did not specify which ones.

"In the current form, no one can say that gas and shale exploration through hydraulic drilling, the only technique known today, is not exempt from posing great health and environment risks," he said.

Hollande affirmed his commitment to developing renewable energy and pledged every year to improve the energy efficiency of one million homes that are badly insulated.

France plans to reach the 10-percent European Union target of renewable energy in fuel by boosting the use of second-generation biofuels, which are made from crop residues, waste, algae or woody material, according to the action plan.

The president also announced the creation of a national biodiversity agency as demanded by several green organisations.

With his plan of punitively high tax rate for the "rich" (75% over 1 million euro), maybe there will be less to power in France anyway.

(Turn out the light, turn out the light...)


Anonymous said...

Nice taste in music i see.... The Doors were top class..

JAnonymous said...

Tax rate hike, who cares, it's for tourists.
French national sport, far ahead of soccer, is tax evasion. We even had to invent VAT to make sure money keeps flowing in.

Every now and then, you get some shoddy paper that will run a story about this or that rich guy who doesn't pay any taxes (or even better, manages to successfully claim social benefits).

Nuclear power was a stupid answer to oil crisis in the 70s. I'm happy to see that Hollande found something to put us out of another oil crisis reach... Let's burn stuff.

CaptD said...

Must read article: The Nuclear Mafia Derails Democracy in Japan

Is it also happening in other Countries because of Nuclear Payback*?

How would France pay for a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster like Fukushima, if one or more of their reactors FAILED?


Those that support nuclear power because nuclear power somehow supports them; no matter what the health implications or other “costs” are for others.

Anonymous said...

Atomic energy in France was more than anything else a way to provide material for nuclear weapons. Nuclear energy was a by-product of military industry. France was one of the first countries making nuclear weapons and bombs.

About risks now for the plants, together with age, drought is one of the major risk, since most -if not all- nuclear plants are cooled by rivers whose level gets incredibly low during summer those last years. I'm not an expert but common sense can tell.

As to shale gas President Hollande has not cancelled the previous authorizations of exploration given before he came to presidency. So... I'm glad of that decision but not too optimistic.

Atomfritz said...

Regarding tax evasion, this isn't common to southern countries. In Germany a few years ago many people were furious when the press revealed that Daimler-Benz paid only 30,000 DM of taxes, but it was legal because they employ a plethora of experts to peruse every possible tax loophole.

Regarding shale gas: I am glad that France stopped this madness. Clean drinking water is more important.

Regarding Fessenheim: In 2016 it will be 47 years old and probably (if not decommissioned prematurely because of a "mishap") one of the oldest NPPs still operating of the world anyway.

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