Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
As far as I can see the problem is a hell of lot more complex than what you depict. The Finland plant will not be operative until at least 2010. That's 13 years to build a plant. Nuclear plants appear to be high financial risks because of the variations in costs of energy. According to Steve Thomas of the University of Greenwich a plant has to run 60 years at 85% capacity to repay itself at a stable cost of kilowatt-hours. France's EdF can write off losses to consumers while in Finland the shareholders are the major consumers. Sort of captive markets. In Britain the government had to bail out British Energy in 2002 to avoid bankruptcy.

As for the EdF-Enel accord, it dates back to 2005 and seems nothing more than a classic business operation, certainly not "begging." There is a hell of a lot of under-the-table kicking in the story that involves protectionist actions first by the Italians against EdF on the Italian market and recently by the French in the Gaz de France-Suez merger. That Edf reneged on Flamanville is news to me, nor have I found anything in the press on it.

Enel did buy 66% of Slovenske Elektrarne which has nuclear plants in April 2006.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Feb 24th, 2007 at 05:11:57 PM EST
for 60 years to pay themselves, off.

I have no idea who Steve Thomas is, nor do I really care.   Many people are wrong about this subject.

According to the Tarjenne study, nuclear power is the most competitive choice for Sweden.

I note that the grand renewable future has been under discussion since the early 1970's and still has not produced 5 exajoules of primary energy on the entire planet as a whole.   So if long time periods are critical issues, we should immediately give up on renewable energy on the grounds that it is a failure.

The ground breaking on the EPR in Finland.

I don't know how addition and subtraction is done in Europe, but the plant was ordered in 2003, and thus if it comes on line in 2010, that will be 7 years and not 13.

Each subsequent reactor may take far less time as procedures are streamlined.

Finally this plant is subject to FOAKE (First of a Kind Engineering) delays.   These are hardly catastrophic, certainly not as catastrophic as the German failure to address the growth in their energy consumption by posturing mindlessly about wind and solar power.

by NNadir on Sat Feb 24th, 2007 at 06:00:40 PM EST
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To the best of my knowledge the Finnish EPR Olkiluoto3 project dates to 1997. If a cornerstone was laid in 2005 that's fine with me.

It's interesting to note that Finland's European Pressurized Reactor is a joint French-German project (Framatone-Siemens) with the participation of some 26 nations. The water-cooling system is Italian. Some 60 companies, mostly foreign, are lined up to buy the energy produced.

So despite local political choices, Europe has certainly not abandoned nuclear power. In fact the Council of Economic Cooperation which unites some 100 companies of the "Latin" members of the UE strongly reccomends it.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Feb 25th, 2007 at 06:11:48 AM EST
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Every single power option, from natural gas plants, to coal plants, to nuclear plants is subject to debate.   To assert that this is only true in the nuclear case is exceptionalism.

The actual construction started in 2005, and is now 2 years under way.


I am happy that all of Europe is participating in the construction of this plant.   This bodes well for the future of Europe.

by NNadir on Sun Feb 25th, 2007 at 03:07:46 PM EST
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Thanks for the link.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Feb 25th, 2007 at 05:00:03 PM EST
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 France's EdF can write off losses to consumers while in Finland the shareholders are the major consumers.

EDF is the most profitable company in France (it has had a bigger operating profit than Total, the oil company, for the past two years, despite the fact that its turnover is less thna half Total's). That reflects the fact that its production costs are the lowest, by far, in Europe.

And not that this is not the reuslt of past subsidies. EDF has been paying money to the French government for the past 25 years, not the other way around. And French electricity prices are the lowest in Europe (escept for a couple of Scandinavian countries that have access to plenty of hydro power).

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 24th, 2007 at 06:26:08 PM EST
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EdF has a monopoly contrary to the situation in Italy and GB. When there was a monopoly in Italy there was an item on every bill, a surcharge to every single consumer, because Italy no longer allowed nuclear energy as of 1987. In a monopoly the consumer has no choice but to pay the bill.

I should have used "could" instead of "can" since apparently the case has never occurred, unlike the case in England in which the government had to take action.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Feb 25th, 2007 at 05:38:53 AM EST
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by NNadir on Sun Feb 25th, 2007 at 03:13:40 PM EST
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