French Nuclear Reactors to Restart (Fingers crossed Knock on wood)

September 3, 2022

Summarizing France 24 report.

32 (out of 56!) of France’s “reliable 24-7” nuclear reactors have been shut most of the (record hot)
summer, due to corrosion problems, “maintainence”, and drought (they need water to cool themselves).
With Russia squeezing gas supplies, power prices skyrocketing, French government (meaning taxpayers)
will “absorb” some of that increase.
2022 power prices were 85 euros per MWH. Now over 1000 Euros / MWh.
High gas prices will bleed over into the US and rest of the world.

Meanwhile, wind and sunlight remain free, can’t be blocked, and need little to no water, as always

We have a choice.

Before the Inflation Reduction Act, and its promise of 380 Billion in funding for an energy transition – Europe inaugurated its own energy transition initiative with 300 plus dollars.
Try to imagine the boost that renewable industries are going to see in the coming decade.

ABC News:

The European Union’s executive arm moved Wednesday to jump-start plans for the 27-nation bloc to abandon Russian energy amid the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine, proposing a nearly 300 billion-euro ($315 billion) package that includes more efficient use of fuels and faster rollout of renewable power.

The European Commission’s investment initiative is meant to help the 27 EU countries start weaning themselves off Russian fossil fuels this year. The goal is to deprive Russia, the EU’s main supplier of oil, natural gas and coal, of tens of billions in revenue and strengthen EU climate policies.

“We are taking our ambition to yet another level to make sure that we become independent from Russian fossil fuels as quickly as possible,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Brussels when announcing the package, dubbed REPowerEU.


4 Responses to “French Nuclear Reactors to Restart (Fingers crossed Knock on wood)”

  1. John Oneill Says:

    ‘..wind and sunlight remain free, can’t be blocked…’
    They’re not free – the German government has suspended the planned reduction in feed-in tariffs, so taxpayers who can’t afford a roof, or a field, pay those who can. And it doesn’t take much cloud, or snow, to block solar. Wind is affected by the not uncommon meteorological feature, a ‘blocking high’, which can shut it down over most of Europe for a week. Slowing of the jetstream may be making this more common. ‘The latest IPCC report suggests that average wind speeds over Europe will reduce by 8%-10% as a result of climate change.’

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      32 (out of 56!) of France’s “reliable 24-7” nuclear reactors have been shut most of the (record hot) summer, due to corrosion problems, “maintainence”, and drought (they need water to cool themselves).

      While even the shut-down reactors need big maintenance crews, bringing up those 32 reactors will require much longer staff-hours for these higher-skilled maintenance and operation engineers (which under French labor rules might be even more expensive). Meanwhile they have to make extra effort to monitor the corrosion issue and the cooling stress. Therein lies a lot of the expense.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      [Oops. My previous comment was not meant to be a reply to you, but its own top-level comment.]

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Of course Peter means that, unlike fossil fuels, solar and wind can’t be used as a tool of political extortion. (The US, for one, has been sucking up to Saudi Arabia and other petrostates for too long.)

      They’re also not dependent on cooling water, as thermal power plants (including the old nuclear power plants) are.

      I’ll add that solar and wind power plants and non-hydro grid storage do not have to be [expensively] hardened against Putin and other terrorists.

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