Wednesday, March 9, 2016

France Closing Oldest Nuclear Plant

Subtitle:  The Plant Did Not Reach 40 Years - Forget 60

Well, that has got to sting, at least to those nuclear cheerleaders who constantly repeat the (false) claim that nuclear plants last for 60 years.   France announced this week the closure of its oldest nuclear plant, after only 39 years of operation.    The reactor is at Fessenheim, near the border with Germany and Switzerland.  
Nuclear Power Plants in France
(Fessenheim at the top-right of figure)
source: Wikicommons

From the report, "Germany demanded that France close down Fessenheim following reports that a 2014 incident there was worse than earlier portrayed."  see link to news article. 

The French are committed to shutting down many of the country's nuclear reactors by 2025, thereby reducing the nuclear share of electricity from 75 percent to 50 percent.   

As written earlier on SLB, nuclear plants do not run for 60 years, despite claims that they do by the nuclear cheerleaders.    In fact, see link, nuclear plants require costly upgrades after 20 to 30 years, and certainly do by age 40.   The problem is one of safety and economics.  Safety requires the upgrades to worn and degraded parts.  However, the upgrades are so costly they do not achieve a return on the investment when the plant is shut down and retired from service a short time later for any of dozens of reasons.   At some point in the nuclear plant's life, it is simply throwing away money to invest in the upgrades necessary to keep the plant in compliance with safety standards. 

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Marina del Rey, California  
Copyright (c) 2016 by Roger Sowell, all rights reserved

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