I think that an end to Fessenheim is a good thing, even for nuclear power. Fessenheim is a very old plant and it is threatened by earthquakes and floods (positioned 8 meters BELOW a canal) Running Fessenheim after the Fukushima accident seriously undermines public confidence into the security of nuclear power.
Post by Barry Brook on May 9, 2012 10:12:49 GMT 9.5
sod, off topic, you should register on this forum if you are going to continue to post here. You can then llogin to your account and post from that - you won't need to enter the SPAM check each time, and all your posts will be archived etc. All the cool kids are doing it...
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A few details first: Holland has said he wanted it closed in 2017. He's elected for 5 years.
As for the various purported defects of this station, I think they are often overblown. Here some people would have us believe it is a particularly quake prone area in France and that the flooding risk is big because of the Rhine canal.
First the canal: it's an artificial canal, at that point it is above the entire valley of the Rhine. By the way, just downstream of the plant there is a run of the mill hydroelectric plant (and a lock). So to mitigate the flooding, water could be cut upstream, where the canal takes its water, or directed to the plain in the direction of the Rhine's natural bed (on the other side of the plant). It is unlikely the dyke would be breached right in front of the plant, it's higher there & probably reinforced too.
Second the quakes: contrarily to what is often said, Fessenheim is classified in a "moderate risk" quake zone (the max risk in continental France is "medium"), just like the entire Rhone valley. I concur it is difficult to see just by comparing the official quake risk map and Fessenheim's position, but it's still visible.
Here is what a former employee has to say about it (sorry: google translate is bad with that one; original in french). The thing is, there has been some simulations of those risks, constantly approved by the nuclear safety authority. They might be wrong, but if we can not believe the results of such studies, building anything (not just nuclear plants!) would be impossible!
I agree Fessenheim is not the safest plant on earth. Yet, if no nuclear plant can be built in mildly quake-prone areas, this would put a large part of the world off limits for nuclear power. And in France, that would mean the whole Rhone valley is off limits, whereas there is a lot of industries and people there [most notably chemicals factories] which need a lot of power stations.
The plans are to replace the reactors with gas plants and wind turbines. To reduce greenhouse gases emissions nonetheless, Holland plans to close coal plants and replace them by gas plants. So you may easily make a similar plan that would release less carbon dioxyde...
edit: troubles with the forum syntaxic rules for links
Last Edit: May 11, 2012 2:31:15 GMT 9.5 by proteos
Replacing coal plants (which I didn't think France had much left of anyway) with methane is probably going to make things worse from a global warming point of view.
Still about 7GW of coal. Divided in 2 parts: polluting stations that will close by end 2015 (roughly half the coal power base), and more recent ones that are often called just after nuclear plants to do some load follow & probably serve as spinning reserve. Gas is about 4GW and set to increase anyway to replace some of the aging coal plants. You can find data on the gridoperator site , it's incomplete but encompasses most (non renewable) plants in service.