France is looking for new nuclear waste storage site
Areva and EDF were asked by the French National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (ANDRA) to examine nuclear waste storage opportunities on their existing nuclear sites. The sites of Malvési (Languedoc-Roussillon) and Pierrelatte (Rhône-Alpes) would be under consideration but research concerning a site in the Champagne-Ardennes region would be the most advanced. Geological researches were conducted during the past months in five towns near Soulaines. The planned site, which would be operational starting in 2025, would store low-level long-lived waste, mainly generated from industry. The ANDRA also plans for the site to store very low-level waste as full capacity will be reached by 2025 on its Cires storage site.
Les Echos | 2014, February 12th
Sellafield nuclear consortium lambasted by parliamentary report
A UK parliamentary committee report said that progress at the Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria had been poor, with missed targets, escalating costs, slipping deadlines and weak leadership. The report sharply criticises the consortium which has been managing the site for 6 years, Nuclear Management Partners, concluding that NPM was to blame for many of the escalating costs, now reaching £70 billion. MPs added they could not understand why the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) extended the consortium’s contract last October. Sources claimed that the consortium’s contract was extended by the government because of a “lack of faith” in its ability to attract another consortium to take over the job at the same rates.
The Guardian | 2014, February 11th
French PM issues national plan of action for nuclear accident
The French Prime Minister’s office issued a national plan of action in case of “major nuclear and radiation accident”. The plan considers nuclear incidents potentially affecting larger areas than the existing special intervention plan. The new plan includes decision-making guidelines and examines 8 typical situations. The document also includes policies concerning the protection of local population and measures meant to provide for the continuity of economic and social life.
Les Echos | 2014, February 04th
France launches a nuclear special development fund for SMEs
Bpifrance, the French public investment bank, announced it launched a development fund allotted to nuclear companies, which will invest in SMEs. The €133 million fund is financed by Bpifrance and by large industry players, such as Areva EDF, Alstom, Vinci and Eiffage. It will buy minority stakes in SMEs with “significant nuclear activities in France”. With investments ranging from €1 to €3 million, the fund will encourage innovation and competitiveness, as well as development on international markets, with the ultimate aim to help create mid-cap companies and consolidate the French industry.
The Guardian | 2014, February 3rd
Radon was the source of radioactivity at Sellafield
The UK biggest nuclear waste site of Sellafield in Cumbria declared an alert on Jan. 31 after discovering higher than usual levels of radioactivity, but later called it off, saying naturally occurring radon gas had triggered the alarm.
The Guardian | 2014, February 1st
IEA top official advocates nuclear power for the UK
The UK should consider building more nuclear power plants rather than expecting cheap energy prices in shale oil and gas, said Fatih Birol, chief economist and director of global energy economics at the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The Daily Telegraph | 2014, January 31th