France imports UK electricity as plants shut – Times Online

Posted by Trish Riley, July 17, 2009

savannah river nuclear power plant ©Trish Riley 2009Thanks to Ed Brown for submitting this interesting piece of news from the nation that boasts about its nuclear power industry:

Fourteen of France’s 19 nuclear power stations are located inland and use river water rather than seawater for cooling. When water temperatures rise, EDF is forced to shut down the reactors to prevent their casings from exceeding 50C.

Ed’s poignant observation:

Spending billions of dollars on power plants that we can’t operate as temperatures rise would seem to be a poor use of our limited financial and natural resources.

As a side note to the story, here’s a bit of good news for a more sustainable future:

the recession has led to a 6 per cent fall in the UK’s electricity requirements because of weaker industrial demand.

via France imports UK electricity as plants shut – Times Online.

Read more on the downsides of France’s nuclear industry here. You can search our archives for more on nuclear power, too.

Let your senators know if you oppose supporting nuclear power plants in the Clean Energy Bill here.

Comment on this article in the forums

  1. 1. Ed Brown Says:

    Trish,

    Another thing to consider with nuclear power plants.

    The power plants located on the shore are also vulnerable. As temperatures rise the ice caps are melting and the water is expanding causing ocean levels to rise. The power plants near the coast may also have to be closed as the water levels endanger the operations of the plant and the communities nearby.

    In a recent post you said – “These kinds of solutions (talking about injecting sludge into wells), like carbon sequestration and burying radioactive waste, are not solutions for the future – they are time bombs we’re leaving behind for our kids.”

    It’s obvious to me, and I think to you, that carbon sequestration and nuclear power plants are not good solutions for our energy future. Obama is supporting both carbon sequestration (“clean coal”) and nuclear power plants in his energy plan. I can’t support his energy plan with these two “solutions” as part of his energy plan for the future.

    It’s time to let him know that these are NOT “solutions” – they will create significant environmental, safety, and economic challenges for us in the future. Neither of these energy options are clean, green, sustainable or safe.

  2. 2. Trish Riley Says:

    I agree, Ed. In addition to the problems you note with nuclear power, I’m concerned by the dozens of people I’ve met who live in communities with nuclear power plants and who have cancer, as well as the scientists I’ve spoken who’ve documented such clusters around the world. Furthermore, we have not figured out how to dispose of radioactive waste, and that’s a horrible legacy to leave for future generations. That’s why I think it’s important that we let our senators know that the bill needs to have a few amendments removed: those that support both nuclear power and coal, as well as the free passes to polluters for their carbon emissions. There’s a link today at 1Sky where you can click to send a fax to your senators.

Recent Headlines