Belleville Nuclear Power Plant
The Belleville Nuclear Power Plant is located in Belleville-sur-Loire near Léré, along the Loire River between Nevers and Orléans. It employs 620 people and consists of two large 1,300 MW P4 nuclear reactors, its cooling water comes from the Loire River. The site is located on a flood-safe, 4.6-meter-high platform. Each year it produces an average of 19 billion kilowatt hours fed to the electricity grid, thus covers about four percent of French electricity production. With the construction of the first reactor was started on May 1, 1980, it began operation October 14, 1987; the second unit started construction August 1, 1980 and began operation July 6, 1988. The shutdown of the reactors is planned for the years 2028 and 2029 for unit 1 and 2. In May 2001 construction-related defects were observed in this plant, along with four other sites; the emergency cooling system of the two-phase nuclear power plant has a reserve water tank at the bottom of the reactor building. In the event of a defect in the primary cooling circuit that causes it to no longer contribute to cooling, the water from the reserve tank is automatically fed into the cooling system.
Inspections in May 2001 showed, that this automatic feeding of the water was unreliable, because under some circumstances the pressure of the heated water may block the water slide. The French nuclear regulatory authority ASN classified this disruption of the emergency cooling systems as stage 1 on the international scale of nuclear events, but assigned it the stage 2 classification; the operating company EDF built the slider so that excess pressure can no longer lead to a blockage. In 2017 the French nuclear regulator Autorité de sûreté nucléaire placed Belleville under increased supervision because of "several failures by the operator in identifying and analysing the consequences of anomalies affecting certain safety-critical equipment". Belleville has had eight Level 1 events on the International Nuclear Event Scale. EDF site operator Belleville Centrale de Belleville - site de l'ASN Central Belleville - site of the ASN History of Central Belleville by the "green of Burgundy" Vue satellite sur Wikimapia: WikiMapia satellite view: The power of Belleville-sur-Loire Belleville 1: INSC Belleville 2: INSC Rapport 2007 Report 2007 under the Law of 13 June 2006 on transparency and nuclear safety
Superphénix or SPX was a nuclear power station prototype on the Rhône river at Creys-Malville in France, close to the border with Switzerland. Superphénix was a 1,242 MWe fast breeder reactor with the twin goals of reprocessing nuclear fuel from France's line of conventional nuclear reactors, while being an economical generator of power on its own. Construction began in 1974 but suffered from a series of cost overruns and enormous public protests. Construction was complete in 1981, but the plant was not connected to the grid until December 1986. In operation, Superphénix demonstrated poor reliability and had a historical capacity factor less than 7%. Many of these problems were solved over time, by 1996 the prototype was reaching its design operational goals; the plant was powered down in December 1996 for maintenance, while it was closed it was subject to court challenges that prevented its restart. In June 1997, the newly elected Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, announced that Superphénix would be closed permanently.
France had considered the problem of plutonium production just after the end of World War II. At the time, the conventional solution to this problem was to use a graphite moderated air or water cooled reactor fueled with natural uranium; such designs have little economic value in terms of power production, but are simple solutions to the problem of "breeding" plutonium fuel, which can be separated from the original uranium fuel with chemical processing. However, it had long been known that another solution to the breeder reactor design was to replace the graphite with liquid sodium metal; the graphite is used as a moderator, slowing the neutrons released in the nuclear reactions to a speed that makes other uranium atoms sensitive to them. However, if one replaces the natural uranium fuel with one sensitive to fast neutrons highly enriched uranium or plutonium, the reaction can run without the use of a moderator. While this design eliminates the need for a moderator, the core still needs to be cooled.
Ideally the coolant would be both efficient, allowing the core size to be reduced, as well as being transparent to neutrons. The most studied example of such a material is liquid sodium, although salts and other metals have been used; this not only reduces the size of the reactor, but the fast neutrons from a single reaction are capable of causing several breeding reactions. By surrounding the core with additional fertile material such as natural uranium, or nuclear waste from other reactors, the breeding reaction will take place in a larger volume and in otherwise useless materials; this section is known as the blanket. Such a design has the quality that it generates more fuel than it consumes, as long as the breeding ratio is greater than 1; such a design has three major advantages over conventional military designs. The downside is that it has to be fueled with some sort of enriched fuel, although the fissile material being bred in the blanket can be used. Plans for a French fast reactor date as far back as 1958's Rapsodie, followed up in 1964 for a larger design with a power output of 1 GWe.
Construction of the Rapsodie facility started in 1962 and went critical on 28 January 1967. It did not have power producing systems, but its 22 MW of thermal output would translate to 9 MW of electrical output. Experiments on core configurations were carried out in the Masurca facility starting in 1966, design of a larger power-producing facility was well underway. During the 1960s, interest in nuclear power was reaching a crescendo. For France, with little uranium supply of their own, large scale generation would be subject to supply constraints given that nuclear power was experiencing a boom in construction that suggested the available supply would be limited on a worldwide basis. In France's plans, breeders would serve the twin purposes of producing fuel for their conventional light water reactor fleet, as well as producing that fuel from the waste fuel from those reactors, thereby reducing the amount of nuclear waste they would have to dispose of. Only a small number of breeders, estimated to be around 20, would be required to fuel the fleet of about 200 light water reactors.
France began construction of the Phénix demonstration plant in November 1968, only a year after Rapsodie went critical. It was fueled with 931 kg of enriched plutonium, around 77% Pu-239; the fuel load is capable of running for about 90 days maximum, but in practice it ran for two month periods. Due to its design, refueling required the reactor to be shut down; as a result, it had a low capacity factor, on the order of 65%. As a prototype plant, a high CF was not a design goal, although any practical design would have to improve this. Phénix demonstrated a breeding ratio of 1.16, meaning it produced 16% more fuel than it consumed, while producing 233 MWe in normal operation. Phénix ran without problems through the 1970s and'80s, but in the early 1990s it began to demonstrate a number of unexplained behaviours, including large power transients; this had serious safety implications, the reactor was shut down, spending most of the period from 1991 to 1994 being studied while offline. The long offline period required it to be recertified, so the plant underwent a significant refurbishment between 1994 and 2002.
It was recertified in June 2003, but only at a reduced power of 130
Blayais Nuclear Power Plant
The Blayais Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear plant on the banks of the Gironde estuary near Blaye, South Western France operated by Électricité de France. The power plant has 4 pressurized water reactors -- producing 951 MW 910 MW net each, they were commissioned from 1981 to 1983. The plant has 350 permanent workers; the four reactors produce about 25 TWh per year, about 5% of the total electricity consumption in France. Since its commissioning, the Blayais nuclear power plant has produced more than 800 TWh, nearly twice the equivalent of the French electricity production in one year. In its 2016 annual report, the Nuclear Safety Authority finds that "the nuclear safety and environmental protection performance of the Blayais NPP on the whole matches ASN's general assessment of EDF and that it's radiation protection performance stands out positively", but asked for "more effective management of the nuclear waste produced during reactor outages". On the evening of 27 December 1999, a combination of the incoming tide and high winds overwhelmed the sea walls at the plant and causing parts of the plant to be flooded.
The event resulted in the loss of the plant's off-site power supply and knocked out several safety-related backup systems, resulting in a'level 2' event on the International Nuclear Event Scale. At the time, units 1, 2 and 4 were at full power; the operation of units 1 and 2 were affected by flood damage to a number of water pumps and distribution panels, all four units lost their 225 kV power supplies, while units 2 and 4 lost their 400 kV power supplies. Diesel backup generators were employed to maintain power to plants 2 and 4 until the 400 kV supply was restored. Over the following days an estimated 90,000 m3 of water was pumped out of the flooded buildings. On 5 January, the regional newspaper Sud-Ouest ran the following headline without being contradicted:Very close to a major accident, explaining that a catastrophe had been narrowly avoided; the flooding resulted in fundamental changes to the evaluation of flood risk at nuclear power plants, in the precautions taken. In Germany the flooding prompted the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety to order an evaluation of the German nuclear power plants.
The continued operation of the Blayais plant is opposed by the local anti-nuclear group'TchernoBlaye', formed by Stéphane Lhomme on 15 December 1999. Website
EPR (nuclear reactor)
The EPR is a third generation pressurised water reactor design. It has been designed and developed by Framatome and Électricité de France in France, Siemens in Germany. In Europe this reactor design was called European Pressurised Reactor, the internationalised name was Evolutionary Power Reactor, but it is now named EPR; the first operational EPR unit was China's Taishan 1, which started in December 2018. Taishan 2 is expected to begin operation in 2019; the first two EPR units to start construction, at Olkiluoto in Finland and Flamanville in France, are both facing costly delays. Two units at Hinkley Point in the United Kingdom received final approval in September 2016 and are expected to be completed by 2025. EDF has acknowledged severe difficulties in building the EPR design. In September 2015 EDF stated that the design of a "New Model" EPR was being worked on, which will be easier and cheaper to build; the main design objectives of the third generation EPR design are increased safety while providing enhanced economic competitiveness through improvements to previous PWR designs scaled up to an electrical power output of around 1650 MW with thermal power 4500 MW.
The reactor can use 5% enriched uranium oxide fuel, reprocessed uranium fuel or 100% mixed uranium plutonium oxide fuel. The EPR is the evolutionary descendant of the Framatome N4 and Siemens Power Generation Division "Konvoi" reactors. Siemens ceased its nuclear activities in 2011; the EPR was designed to use uranium more efficiently than older Generation II reactors, using 17% less uranium per unit of electricity generated than these older reactor technologies. The EPR design has several active and passive protection measures against accidents: Four independent emergency cooling systems, each providing the required cooling of the decay heat that continues for 1 to 3 years after the reactor's initial shutdown Leaktight containment around the reactor An extra container and cooling area if a molten core manages to escape the reactor Two-layer concrete wall with total thickness 2.6 m, designed to withstand impact by aeroplanes and internal overpressureThe EPR has a design maximum core damage frequency of 6.1 × 10−7 per station per year.
The EPR has a single steam turbine capable of using all the steam generated. In 2013 EDF acknowledged the difficulties it was having building the EPR design, with its head of production and engineering, Hervé Machenaud, saying EDF had lost its dominant international position in design and construction of nuclear power stations. Machenaud indicated EDF was considering designing two new lower powered reactors, one with output of 1,500 MWe and the other 1,000 MWe. Machenaud stated there would be a period of reflection on the best way to improve the EPR design to lower its price and incorporate post-Fukushima safety improvements. In September 2015 EDF's chief executive Jean-Bernard Lévy stated that the design of a "New Model" EPR was being worked on, which will be easier to build, to be ready for orders from about 2020, describing it in 2016 as "a reactor offering the same characteristics as today’s EPR but it will be cheaper to build with optimised construction times and costs". In 2016 EDF planned to build two New Model EPR reactors in France by 2030 to prepare for renewing its fleet of older reactors.
However following financial difficulties at Areva, its merger with EDF, French Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot said in January 2018 "for now is neither a priority or a plan. Right now the priority is to develop renewable energy and to reduce the share of nuclear." The industry-government plan for 2019-2022 included work on "a new version of the EPR". The construction of the Olkiluoto 3 power station in Finland commenced in August 2005; the station will have an electrical power output of 1600 MWe. The construction was a joint effort of French Areva and German Siemens AG through their common subsidiary Areva NP, for Finnish operator TVO. Siemens ceased nuclear activities in 2011. Initial cost estimates were about €3.7 billion, but the project has since seen several severe cost increments and delays, with latest cost estimates of more than €8 billion. The station was scheduled to go online in 2009, but operations are now expected to start in 2020. In May 2006, construction delays of about one year were announced, following quality control problems across the construction.
In part the delays were due to the lack of oversight of subcontractors inexperienced in nuclear construction. The delays led to disappointing financial results for the Areva NP, it designs. In December 2006, TVO announced construction was about 18 months behind schedule so completion was now expected 2010–11, there were reports that Areva was preparing to take a €500 million charge on its accounts for the delay. At the end of June 2007, it was reported that Säteilyturvakeskus, the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, had found a number of safety-related design and manufacturing'deficiencies'. In August 2007, a further construction delay of up to a year was reported associated with construction problems in reinforcing the reactor building to withstand an aeroplane crash, the timely supply of adequate documentation to the Finnish authorities. In September 2007, TVO reported the construction delay as "at least two years" and costs more than 25% over budget. Cost estimates by analysts for the overrun range up to €1.5 billion.
A further delay was announced in October 2008, making the total delay three years, giving an expected online date of 2012. The parties are in arbitration to resolve a dispute over responsibility for the de
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Dampierre Nuclear Power Plant
The Dampierre nuclear power plant is located in the town of Dampierre-en-Burly, 55 km upstream of Orleans and 110 km downstream of Nevers, it uses water from the Loire for cooling. 1,100 people work at the site. According to a report by the Nuclear Safety Authority in October 2002, certain functions providing backup cooling for the reactor could not be ensured in the event of an earthquake. On 2 April 2001, during a refueling outage of unit 4, an operator made a mistake in following the correct loading pattern for the different fuel rod assemblies; the reloading operation was stopped and the core unloaded. The incident was classified at Level 1 of the INES scale, but reclassified as Level 2 by France's nuclear safety authority in 2007. On the night of 9 to 10 April 2007, reactor No. 3 went on emergency standby and remained so throughout the night. EDF triggered an emergency plan to 22h10. Throughout the night, teams acted in emergency mode, the reactor No. 3 having been deprived of its external power.
The emergency generator worked well. The ASN has established a national crisis with the support of the IRSN. EDF and DSC lifted the crisis the following morning at 8:15. Following this incident, the No. 3 reactor remained shut down for several weeks to correct the problem