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France To Shut Down All Coal-Fired Power Plants By 2023 (independent.co.uk) 328

French president Francois Hollande announced at an annual UN climate change conference on Wednesday that France will shut down all its coal-fired power plants by 2023. He also "vowed to beat by two years the UK's commitment to stop using fossil fuels to generate power by 2025," reports The Independent: Mr Hollande, a keynote speaker at the event in Marrakech, Morocco, also praised his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama for his work on climate change, and then appeared to snub president-elect Donald Trump. "The role played by Barack Obama was crucial in achieving the Paris agreement," Mr Hollande said, before adding, in what has been perceived as a dig at Mr Trump, that becoming a signatory to the treaty is "irreversible." "We need carbon neutrality by 2050," the French President continued, promising that coal will no longer form part of France's energy mix in six to seven years' time. France is already a world leader in low-carbon energy. The country has invested heavily in nuclear power over the past few decades and now derives more than 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear fission. It produces so much nuclear energy, in fact, that it exports much of it to nearby nations, making around $2.66 billion each year.
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France To Shut Down All Coal-Fired Power Plants By 2023

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  • What Hollande says (Score:4, Insightful)

    by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Thursday November 17, 2016 @11:46PM (#53311747)
    Anyone still believe what president Hollande says? At least in France he does not have much trust left.
    • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @12:18AM (#53311879)

      I can't speak for France's trust (or lack thereof) of Hollande. But one thing the US could do in emulating France is to start replacing our coal plants with more nuclear, especially in areas where solar or wind aren't a good fit. It's not like it isn't a proven, feasible technology. I still can't understand how environmentalists could be opposed to it, if they truly believe what scientists are telling us about what's happening with AGW and what the long term effects may be. Yes, nuclear is a compromise. We have to extract ore, it's potentially dangerous, and it generates very nasty waste products. But wouldn't it be worth compromising on this point a bit to get to carbon neutrality faster? We have the rest of history to start phasing nuke power plants out with better technologies, and there are theoretical ways to deal with the waste products other than simply burying it in the ground.

      Maybe we should tell Trump that building a bunch of nuclear plants would really piss off the wacko environmentalists, create a bunch of new 'murican jobs, and help lessen oil dependency from all those foreign commies and terrorists. Sometimes, you just have to sell these things with your target audience in mind.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dcollins ( 135727 )

        "theoretical ways to deal with the waste products" = "no actual ways to deal with the waste products"

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You do realize that many European countries have successfully dealt with it. Only the fucking stupid Americans have decided to not reprocess fuel rods, and consequently are generating stupid quantities of radioactive waste. Get over your 1970's Jimmy Carter stupidity, start reprocessing fuel rods, and deal with two issues at once.

          • by Uberbah ( 647458 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @04:23AM (#53312553)

            Your stupidity. There is no amount of reprocessing that will make nuclear power cost effective. Disagree, name the nuclear power plant that charges its customers for the full cost from cradle to grave: everything from mining & refining, to plant construction & maintenance, to waste disposal/recycling/reuse.

            You can't do that because that nuclear power plant doesn't exist. Because nuclear power is corporate welfare masking ongoing nuclear weapons programs.

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              There is no amount of reprocessing that will make nuclear power cost effective.

              Of course, that's because fresh fuel is cheaper. But you Americans have been too spoiled by your cheap natural gas to realize that in Europe (where France is located), nuclear power is perfectly cost-effective.

              • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @07:30AM (#53312949) Homepage
                Apparently not in Great Britain, where HInkley Point C seems to get more expensive every year without actually being running yet, and even with the current 25 billion pounds in subsidies, the operators coming from France and China want to get out as they fear to lose too much money on the project.
                • HP-C is a clusterfuck. But one bad way of doing a thing doesn't mean that that thing can't be done.
                  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @08:42AM (#53313137) Homepage

                    Nearly the entire new generation of nukes has been one giant economic disaster after the next, both in the US and Europe. The most expensive "things" on Earth are now predominantly nuclear power plants (ISS tops the list if you count it as "on Earth", otherwise, the first "thing" on the list that's not a nuke plant is the LHC, which comes in several slots down). Hinkley Point tops the list among nuclear plants (~$35B USD and counting if you count interest and such, at least $18B if you just count construction costs), but it's got lots of company. By contrast, the Burj Khalifa was a piddling $1,5B.

                    In the US at least, nuclear power has always had more popularity on K Street than Wall Street. Nuclear died for decades, and the new "renaissance" died as well, not because of NIMBYs, but because investors abandoned it. Indeed, when you look at the cost breakdowns, "NIMBYs" have almost nothing to do with it. Look, for example, at the Olkiluoto #3 reactor in Finland. The project started in 2000. Construction started in 2005, with plants to open in 2010. Now it's not expected to open 2018-2020 (and I wouldn't bet my life on even that). Why? From Wikipedia:

                    In February 2014, TVO said that it is could not give an estimate of the plant's startup date, because it was "still waiting for the Areva-Siemen [sic] consortium to provide it with an updated overall schedule for the project."[37] Later the same month it was reported that Areva was shutting down construction due to the dispute over compensations and unfinished automation planning. According to Kauppalehti the estimated opening was delayed until 2018–2020.[27]

                    The delays have been due to various problems with planning, supervision, and workmanship,[5] and have been the subject of an inquiry by STUK, the Finnish nuclear safety regulator.[38] The first problems that surfaced were irregularities in the foundation concrete, and caused a delay of months. Later, it was found that subcontractors had provided heavy forgings that were not up to project standards and which had to be re-cast. An apparent problem constructing the reactor's unique double-containment structure also caused delays, as the welders had not been given proper instructions.[38]

                    In 2009, Petteri Tiippana, the director of STUK's nuclear power plant division, told the BBC that it was difficult to deliver nuclear power plant projects on schedule because builders were not used to working to the exacting standards required on nuclear construction sites, since so few new reactors had been built in recent years.[39]

                    At the end of 2013, TVO said that the Areva-Siemens consortium plans to reduce workers and subcontractors on the construction site and says that it expects the contractor to provide details about the expected impact on the project's schedule.[40]

                    After the construction of the unit started in 2005, Areva began constructing EPRs in Flamanville, France, and in Taishan, China. However, as of July 2012, the construction of the EPR in France is four years behind schedule,[6] and it seems that the two EPRs being constructed in China will be the first ones to enter service.[36]

                    Cost

                    The main contractor, Areva, is building the unit for a fixed price of €3 billion, so in principle, any construction costs above that price fall on Areva. In July 2012, those overruns were estimated at more than €2 billion,[36] and in December 2012, Areva estimated that the full cost of building the reactor would be about €8.5 billion, well over the previous estimate of €6.4 billion.[2][3] Because of the delays, TVO and Areva are both seeking compensation from each other through the International Court of Arbitration. In October 2013, TVO's demand for compensation from Areva had risen to €1.8 billion, and Areva's from TVO to €2.6 billion.[41] In December 2013, Areva increased its demand to €2.7 billion.[42] As of November 2016, the case is still ongoing.[43]

                    According to some estimates, Olkiluoto reactor could be the

                    • A major problem of the "new generation of nukes" is the virtual lack of serial production. A tinkering approach is not going to cut it. Lack of design and construction continuity in the 1990s isn't helping any. You can see the devastating effects of this on the EPR.
                    • (Also, a funny thing is that even HP-C is not outrageously expensive (per MWh) in European context. It's disappointing, yes, but comparable with, say, already installed European solar - my country basically pledged around 2010 to pay ~$15B over twenty years for subsidizing the installation and operation of ~2 GW of solar capacity with just about 200 MW of average generation.)
                    • I do not doubt about it, I'm very familiar with it. But night-time power would be more dependent on the cost of storage rather than on cost of primary generation if it were to be sourced from solar sources. I'm not sure what you mean by "scaling up nuclear to a level where it really matters"; my country is 30+% nuclear-powered and it matters quite a lot already.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

              Nuclear plants can't charge the customer the full cost, because they can't get insurance for their full liability. No insurer will cover the potential losses in full. Governments have to cover the risk, which is kinda insane because if the worst happens it could easily bankrupt them. I guess the implication is that if that did happen, the government would do something to avoid paying out in full.

            • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @11:13AM (#53314117)
              seriously though. Coal and Gas are much, much more expensive than nuclear when you can't _externalize_your_costs_. The pollution gets into the air, water and land. It causes massive health problems to anyone living anywhere near the plant. You also need to risk miner's lives to mine it cheaply or you need to do fracking (which has it's own unique problems: earthquakes, water you can light on fire, etc).

              All of this either gets paid for by the taxpayer or you let the people hurt by it suffer and die (google "Cancer Villages"). Sorry, but you really have no idea wtf you're going on about...
          • by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @06:19AM (#53312829) Journal

            Reprocessing produces MORE waste, than not reprocessing.
            You are mixing up spent fuel with waste.

        • by CapOblivious2010 ( 1731402 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @01:06AM (#53312069)

          "theoretical ways to deal with the waste products" = "no actual ways to deal with the waste products"

          As opposed to coal and other fossil fuels, where we have a very effective way of dealing with the waste products: just let them go up the smokestack!

          P.S. You do know that coal mining releases more radiation into the air, and kills more people, than nuclear power - right?

          • by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Friday November 18, 2016 @01:29AM (#53312165) Journal

            Seems that mistake in Scientific American will never be lived down:

            In response to some concerns raised by readers, a change has been made to this story. The sentence marked with an asterisk was changed from "In fact, fly ash—a by-product from burning coal for power—and other coal waste contains up to 100 times more radiation than nuclear waste" to "In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy." Our source for this statistic is Dana Christensen, an associate lab director for energy and engineering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as well as 1978 paper in Science authored by J. P. McBride and colleagues, also of ORNL.

            Coal waste is NOT more radioactive than nuclear waste. The difference is that nuclear waste is not dumped into the environment, while waste from coal burning is. Nuclear waste is stored, and storage space is limited. Permanent dumps for nuclear waste are difficult to engineer. They must be designed to hold nuclear waste for millennia.

            The big problem with nuclear power is that accidents are extremely dangerous and costly. That wouldn't be a problem if accidents were extremely unlikely. We know how to design and operate nuclear power plants safely, the problem is that we won't. Fukushima showed that. That accident was entirely avoidable. They needed only to build the walls higher. They had good information on how high the walls needed to be, and the recommended height was not a strain on our engineering capabilities. But management chose to ignore the recommendations and build a lower wall, to save a little money. The fools in those management positions did not understand that the risk they were taking was very high, they chose instead to ignore the warnings. Disaster could still have been averted had they not also cut another corner to save a little money, and the backup generators had been in working order and not located in the basement.

            • by aberglas ( 991072 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @01:47AM (#53312225)

              Are you agreeing or disagreeing?

              The claim was that coal dumps more radiation *into the air*. Would make sense given that their is very little nuclear radiation leak into the air.

              As to accidents, with the notable exception of Cherbynol, there have been very few and most of the cost has been due to the hysteria. Very few people died in Fukushima compared to those killed by the tidal wave itself.

              • "Very few" = zero, if we are talking about radiation deaths at/around Fukushima.

                • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

                  Right, in the same way the number of deaths from smoking will be "zero" if you and your circle of friends start smoking 3 packs of cigarettes a day, every day, for the next four years.

            • We know how to design and operate nuclear power plants safely, the problem is that we won't. ... They needed only to build the walls higher.

              Build walls higher, put generators above flood level, and make allowance for safely venting hydrogen, so that things don't progress from bad to total disaster.

              According to one source I read, the USA realized the risk of hydrogen explosion and retrofitted all their stations to allow for safe venting. The Japanese chose not to retrofit. (Warning - the source was a USA nuclear engineer, but I read it years ago, and my memory is fallible.)

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Dorianny ( 1847922 )
              If Climate Change was not a concern I would say shut down all Nuclear Plants, but it is not only a concern it is a HUGE one. Compared to the global catastrophe that will be brought on by Rising sea levels, droughts and extreme weather phenomena, the Localized Chernobys/Fukushima Nuclear disasters seem like Small Fries
              • by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @06:23AM (#53312837) Journal

                Chernobyl was not localized.
                In south germany and south sweden you still can not eat mushrooms harvested from the woods and game is unsafe to eat.

                • Chernobyl was not localized. In south germany and south sweden you still can not eat mushrooms harvested from the woods and game is unsafe to eat.

                  Ugh, technically the winds have carried a bit of radiation from Chernobyl/Fukushima all over the world so if you want to split hairs you could call them Global Disasters but compared to the Civilizations level dangers posed by the rise in sea levels, droughts and extreme weather phenomena one could hardly put them on the same scale Globally

            • by SvnLyrBrto ( 62138 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @02:53AM (#53312383)

              Easy solution: Give regulatory control of the nuclear power industry to the navy. No joke. The US Navy has been operating nuclear reactors... hundreds of them... for nearly as long as there's been such a thing. And they have a perfect operational safety record. That is: zero nuclear accidents in the 62 years since the USS Nautilus was launched in 1954. (They *have* lost two nuclear submarines at sea. But neither the Thresher nor Scorpion were lost due to reactor accidents.)

              http://www.forbes.com/sites/ja... [forbes.com]

              They do it by standardizing on a small number of reactor designs (Generally one per ship/sub class. Though the S5W persisted from the Skipjack class until it was replaced by the S6G with the Los Angeles.), training the sweet holy hell out of their people (There are stories of standing desks at power school, so trainees don't fall asleep while sitting and studying... and of the occasional *thump* when someone standing falls asleep anyway.), and holding them strictly accountable to operations and safety standards throughout their careers.

              • There are stories of standing desks at power school, so trainees don't fall asleep while sitting and studying... and of the occasional *thump* when someone standing falls asleep anyway

                I hope that this doesn't reflect their operational environment...

              • They do it by standardizing on a small number of reactor designs

                Well there goes your idea.

                No seriously, there are fundamental differences in management of a standardised platform vs a collection of assets which were each built independently. One model attempting to copy the other typically ends in disaster. The Navy is excellent in maintaining their safety as their management is tailed to their standard design. Handing the entire industry over to the Navy would just result in the loss of many years of learnt lessons and the repeat of many years worth of mistakes as they

              • They do it by using very special and extremely expensive reactors and very highly enriched fuel (90%) or so. The latter part is already cost-prohibitive. The reactors are also quite small, barely larger than research reactors, have a limited lifespan (half of a commercial nuclear powerplant) and are only refuelled once or twice during their lifetime, instead of every year or two. All these reasons make American marine reactors much safer, but not really comparable to commercial reactors. If commercial react

            • That accident was entirely avoidable. They needed only to build the walls higher. They had good information on how high the walls needed to be, and the recommended height was not a strain on our engineering capabilities. But management chose to ignore the recommendations and build a lower wall, to save a little money. The fools in those management positions did not understand that the risk they were taking was very high, they chose instead to ignore the warnings.

              Anyone who distils a disaster down to a specific layer blamed on a specific set of people fundamentally doesn't have a clue how accidents, risks, or their mitigation works.

              I suggest you start reading some books which analyse how such incidents come to be before applying your expert opinion.

            • Coal waste is NOT more radioactive than nuclear waste. The difference is that nuclear waste is not dumped into the environment, while waste from coal burning is. Nuclear waste is stored, and storage space is limited.

              This is a big red herring. The tiny amounts of radioactive pollution dumped in the atmosphere by coal plants is NOTHING compared to the hundreds of tons of heavy metals, arsenic, NOX and mercury (not counting nondescript particulates, which still cause various lung diseases). The number of premature deaths per year caused by coal-fired plants numbers hundreds of thousands. This without mentioning the thousands dying directly because of mining of the humongous amounts of coal needed by those plants. We could

            • by Eloking ( 877834 )

              Coal waste is NOT more radioactive than nuclear waste. The difference is that nuclear waste is not dumped into the environment, while waste from coal burning is. Nuclear waste is stored, and storage space is limited. Permanent dumps for nuclear waste are difficult to engineer. They must be designed to hold nuclear waste for millennia.

              Yeah, about this, why aren't we dumping it at the bottom of the ocean already?

              Someone please confirm, but aren't the bottom of the ocean filled with clay and heavy water that are both very efficient radiation shield topped with the lack of much life there and the near impossibility for terrorist to get them?

              Of course, there's always dumping them in the sun, but that's not for anywhere soon.

          • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @01:48AM (#53312229)

            This is what happens when something turns into an -ism. I think opposition to nuclear is based more on dogma and irrational fear than anything else at this point.

            Here's a thought: maybe we should listen to specialists (say, nuclear scientists and engineers, and throw in some statisticians to tally up safety records) about whether modern nuclear power is safe and effective enough to use. Because, I'm pretty sure the science is settled at this point. Should we also should start calling opponents "nuclear deniers"?

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Friday November 18, 2016 @08:03AM (#53313025) Homepage Journal

              The science isn't the issue, it's the engineering. In theory you can build a very safe reactor (not perfect, but very very good). In practice you have to design it, make sure that the design is flawless, then build it exactly to spec, and do it on a budget that will attract commercial investment. Then you have to operate it for decades, with constant pressure to reduce operating costs. You have to anticipate that 40 years later someone will say "we could use new material X to save a few bucks" or "this part was over-engineered and has never failed, we can downgrade it", and somehow make sure that they are as careful and diligent as you were before your retirement/death.

              Turns out engineering is quite difficult. You need multiple people, all at the top of their game. Geologists, metallurgists, scientists, architects, software engineers, electrical engineers... The list is long, and some of their fields are still a long way from having a complete understanding of how they work or what the risks are. Many of the nuclear plants in Japan that were thought to be completely safe have now been found to rest on previously unknown fault lines, for example. The geologists in the 60s and 70s when they were planned and built weren't even incompetent, their field just wasn't advanced enough and sensitive enough equipment didn't exist.

              These issues could be overcome, but I don't think people would like the cost. If you can find a cheaper way or convince people to pay, then maybe we can talk.

            • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @09:59AM (#53313497) Journal

              This is what happens when something turns into an -ism. I think opposition to nuclear is based more on dogma and irrational fear than anything else at this point.

              I'm so very glad you bough that up, check my sig friend, it's not my ism I am talking about.

              Here's a thought: maybe we should listen to specialists (say, nuclear scientists and engineers, and throw in some statisticians to tally up safety records) about whether modern nuclear power is safe and effective enough to use.

              OK, let me get you started. This is the peer reviewed science that show nuclear power provides no Net Energy Return [stormsmith.nl] with contributions from about 10 Universities around the world, including CERN.

              Because, I'm pretty sure the science is settled at this point. Should we also should start calling opponents "nuclear deniers"?

              That would be like saying climate change is bullshit, but I kind of like it.

              Yeah fuckit, I'm a nuclear denier. I deny Nuclear is a real solution to climate change. I'll start calling the nutty nukker fanbois, physics deniers, better FACT deniers or 'unable to provide fact'ers - but I jest ho ho ho.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Uberbah ( 647458 )

            P.S. You do know that coal mining releases more radiation into the air, and kills more people, than nuclear power - right?

            You know that's clever idiocy - right? Opposition to nuclear does not mean support for coal. Now, here's a buttplug you can use to fill that hole in your head:

            Your logical fallacy is...false dichotomy. [yourlogicalfallacyis.com]

          • While I am for Nuclear and keep pointing out to people that the coal industry is allowed to emit more radioactive material in the atmosphere than nuclear industry, it is worth to point out that they usually try to catch as much fly ash as possible. This is not 1850 anymore where there was no filter, nowadays in most country the fly ash is caught (and reused as building material , e.g. for road IIRC) and there are filter for sulfure among others.
        • So, you believe that even in the next century or two we won't figure out how to deal with the waste? That seems a bit unlikely to me. And what if the result of a stubborn opposition to nuclear power is that we simply hang onto our coal plants? That would seem like a rather Pyrrhic victory. It really feels like opponents to nuclear are risking the life of the forest to save a single tree.

          • We already know "how" to deal with the waste. We just don't have the political will to actually do it.

        • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Friday November 18, 2016 @02:38AM (#53312349) Journal

          Read some of the recent articles by the elder statesmen of the environmentalist movement, such as one of the founders of Greenpeace. They are now acknowledging that they spread a lot of FUD about waste. Here are the two biggest lies:

          Intentionally conflating alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. They really hyped things up, through out a lot of numbers and such, about "radiation", carefully cherry-picking things about completely different types of radiation, while making it sound like all the statements went together. Of course you know there are different types of radiation - light from a light bulb is radiation, warmth radiating from a fireplace is radiation. When discussing nuclear waste, the two main types are alpha and beta. Here's the funny thing - alpha is stopped by almost anything - tissue paper, a few centimeters of air, moisture in the air, etc. Unless you press the uranium against your skin, the alpha can't get to you. So when any old 1980s article talks about radiation, ask "are they taking about ALPHA radiation, the kind that's blocked by even tissue paper?" Often they are.

          The even bigger lie is intentionally conflating short half-life with long half-life. You know a candle radiates visible light, heat, uv, etc. Gunpowder radiates the same wavelengths - light, heat, etc. The difference between a candle and a bomb is that the candle releases the energy slowly, a little bit a time, while gunpowder releases it's energy quickly. So quickly, in fact, that there's a dangerous amount of energy, for about 50 milliseconds. Nuclear materials are the same. Some release their energy quickly, so there's a dangerous amount of radiation for a short time. Roughly 14 days, in one common case. Other nuclear materials release their energy incredibly slowly, over thousands of years. At any given time, the slow ones are releasing such a small amount of energy you could WEAR the waste on your head all day and it would have absolutely zero effect. In fact I, and many others, DO wear tritium on our belts.

          There is waste that releases enough radiation in a year to be dangerous, and there's other waste that releases so little as at a time that it takes a thousand years before most of it is used up. Dumping the energy fast is like a firecracker which burns metal powder very quickly - it's dangerous, for a very short period of time. Releasing it over a thousand years is like the heat generated as a bolt rusts - it's an almost indetectable, and completely safe, level of energy being released.

          It's really it like showing somebody a firecracker and saying "this is metal oxydizing" (true) and "the metal in your car could oxydize at any moment" (also true, your car is oxydizing all the time).

          • It's like the crazies in the Sierra club who want to hear down the Hetch-Hetchy dam. The dam and the reservoir behind it provide large sources of water and clean electricity.

            Tearing it down would be an environmental disaster, but hey, it would create some beautiful views, so, what the heck.

          • Here's the funny thing - alpha is stopped by almost anything - tissue paper, a few centimeters of air, moisture in the air, etc. Unless you press the uranium against your skin, the alpha can't get to you.

            When calling for honesty, it is always weise to try to be honest yourself. Nobody claims alpha radiation our in the environment is going to harm you - it is after all just Helium kernels buzzing around, and because they are big and heavy, they don't go very far. The problem arises when you ingest the radioactive material, in which case it becomes extremly dangerous, for that very same reason: it doesn't penetrate very far - so it deposits all of it energy in he tissue and causes huge, localised damage. The

        • "theoretical ways to deal with the waste products" = "no actual ways to deal with the waste products"

          These solutions are just theoretical in America. They very much exist in actual various forms in France who often take nuclear waste from other countries to process.

          • Erm, no.
            France is not reprocessing any waste. That is impossible, there is nothing in waste that is usefull for anything.
            What france and others are doing is: reprocessing a mediocre amount of spent fuel, producing a tiny amount of reuseable new fuel and a huge amount of waste.

      • Complaints from environmentalists have hardly never stopped us in the past - why would it now?

        No, the problem for nuclear is that coal is a giant jobs program (at least it was in the past, that is changing now), and elected officials get plenty of money form the coal industry - they suckle on that teat like they haven't eaten for eons. By way of example Trump is coal man, the chance of him walking away from that trough to embrace nuclear are about zero.

      • I still can't understand how environmentalists could be opposed to [nuclear power], if they truly believe what scientists are telling us about what's happening with AGW and what the long term effects may be.

        Actually, environmentalists are on board when it comes to nuclear power, for the very reasons you mentioned.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06... [nytimes.com]
        https://www.washingtonpost.com... [washingtonpost.com]
        http://www.wsj.com/articles/en... [wsj.com]

    • Anyone still believe what president Hollande says?

      Who cares? He will be long gone by 2023, and nobody will even remember this meaningless promise.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yea, because they produce something like 75% of their electricity with nuclear. I can't figure out why people who want to go carbon neutral are not strong advocates of nuclear, unless they are so dogmatically tied to "green" issues that they just can't accept that the cure to their problem is in the form of big bad nuclear. We should be building modern gen 3/4 breeder reactors on the sites of current plants and reprocessing all the waste that we don't know what to do with into fuel.

  • Let's see, they plan to replace coal with nuclear power. So, not insane.

    Good job, France. I wish we'd do the same in the USA. With Trump it might happen.

  • coal stops being profitable when you can't get somebody else to pay for the clean up and the health problems caused by the pollution. Said it before, say it again. If you can't externalize costs it's not economical.

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