Talk:Nuclear power in France

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I helped fill out the article a little. This should be a big entry.DavidMIA 06:38, 24 August 2007 (UTC)


Partially from my own curiosity and partially from this, I tried to make a list, so that we could mention the worst for comparison to other countries, but I can't find much detailed information about these. (Probably because all the details are in French and I didn't pay enough attention in that class.)  ;-) If you can find more info, add it.

Date INES Plant Description
1967-11-07 Grenoble Nuclear Power Plant Leak of 55,000 curies (Iodine 131, caesium 138) into the reactor pool and 2,000 curies into the atmosphere via the chimney. (La Guele Ouverte - April 1974)
1968-10-02 COGEMA La Hague site Leak of 18 curies per second Iodine 131 from UP 2 reprocessing. ("Les Amis de la Terre")
1969-10-17 4 Saint-Laurent Nuclear Power Plant 50 kg of Uranium in one of the gas cooled reactors began to melt.
1975-08-15  ? Brennilis Nuclear Power Plant terrorist explosions – minor damage
1979-01-01  ? Brennilis Nuclear Power Plant terrorist destroy electric lines – plant shut down
1980-03-13 4 Saint-Laurent Nuclear Power Plant some annealing that occurred in the Graphite of one of the reactors, causing a brief heat excursion. (Worst nuclear accident in France due to damage to core, no release of radioactivity or offsite impact)
1980-04-15 COGEMA La Hague site Fire destroys transformer, preventing cooling water from being pumped, which starts to boil, three hours until it boils away – all equipment shuts down without electricity, meaning they narrowly avoided a large disaster by getting generators from elsewhere?
1980-09-22 COGEMA La Hague site Pump failure causes accidental release of radioactive water
1981-01-06 3 La Hague reprocessing Silo fire (Worst accident at La Hague)
1983-10-01 Blayais Nuclear Power Plant Technical failure and human error cause accident
1986-08-19 Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant 8,000 litres of water flooded underground cellars – possibly river water
1987-01-12 Saint-Laurent Nuclear Power Plant cooling water accident – ice
1987-01-25 Saint-Laurent Nuclear Power Plant transformer fire
1987-06-14 COGEMA La Hague site contamination of storage halls by radioactive steam
1988-04-28 Bruyere le Chatel military nuclear complex Release of 5000 Curies of tritium gas
1988-12-23 Blayais Nuclear Power Plant Two control rods jammed
1989-04-01 Gravelines Nuclear Power Plant Control rod failure
1989-03-13 Saint-Laurent Nuclear Power Plant worst accident at a french plant to date
1990-01-28 Gravelines Nuclear Power Plant Pump failure during a shut-down
1990-05-26 Fessenheim Nuclear Power Plant During refuelling, five cubic meters of radioactive water spilled
1990-12-04 Blayais Nuclear Power Plant 2 workers irradiated during refuelling
1991-06-01 Belleville Nuclear Power Plant Failure of core cooling system
1992-07-22 Dampierre Nuclear Power Plant Two workers contaminated
1992-07-26 Gravelines Nuclear Power Plant Temperature rise in storage pool
1992-08-28 Staint-Alban Nuclear Power Plant Fire in electro-generator
1993-01-20 Paluel Technical failure - subcooling accident
1993-10-22 Saint-Alban Nuclear Power Plant Instrumentation and Control failure
1998-05-12 2 Civaux Nuclear Power Plant leak on an elbow in a pipe of the RCS. Water leaked out at the rate of 30 cubic meters per hour
1999-03-11 2 Rhone-Alpes EDF agent irradiated 340 mSv entering a resitrcited area to retrive tools
1999-12-27 2 Blayais Nuclear Power Plant Waves wash over dykes, flood basement

We certainly don't want to list a bunch of level 1 mistakes in the article; there are probably dozens more and they're mostly meaningless. But we should definitely mention the terrorist attack, probably the silo fire, and the two level 4s. — Omegatron 03:10, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Awesome! Good work finding that. Right now I'm thinking that we could cut out all the ones and put it in the history section. We could event make a dedicated list of nuclear and radiation accidents in France with the whole list - it could be a good reference. And I'm glad you mentioned the terrorist attack, I did include it in the plant article. Still, I'm not sure how the first of those events affected anything, my translations from French can be kind of shaky, but it sounded like they blew up a phone booth basically. Nonetheless, the entire situation is fairly unique in history. -Theanphibian (talkcontribs) 03:45, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the terrorist attack should be included just because it's notable and the issue of terrorist attacks is brought up a lot in arguments.
I doubt we would want to include every event in a list.  :-) If I understand this correctly, this list is not even close to comprehensive; there are about 60 class 1 or higher events every year ... on a good year. They seem pretty trivial, like things not being plugged in correctly. This list is partially based on the Greenpeace list, so details are foggy. We should only include a few relatively major incidents, and leave the less major incidents for the power plant's articles, like Saint-Laurent_Nuclear_Power_Plant#Incidents. For instance, if the 1987 transformer fire didn't affect anything outside the plant, it's not notable enough to be mentioned in this article.
I mostly wanted to know how France's safety record compared with other countries'. That's the kind of stuff that belongs in an overview article like this. — Omegatron 03:43, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh, well if we're just going for a comparison, either of us could probably do that. Problem is that you only really have the early events to go by for the "worst" events. Modern operation is pretty boring, it's clear that todays nuclear plants pose no danger to the public, so reports are filled with a whole bunch of events that are orders of magnitude to even posing a safety risk. If, however, the Saint-Laurent event was indeed the worst in its history then a partial meltdown is pretty huge, but still dwarfed by events from the other nuclear powers. Japans program has shorter history and more limited reprocessing activities, but has still had more severe events. For the U.S., the Saint-Laurent is probably about comparable to TMI, but since TMI was a 70s event, I think France would get a better rating, but it still has a shorter operating history than the U.S., so it might not be a fair comparison. Considering events like the Windscale fire and other reprocessing quirks, I would say that France clearly beats England though. As for the Soviet Union... well...
Anyway, I think you can easily say that France has one of the safest programs in the world and be able to back it up very well. Germanys nuclear fleet is notably boring as well, but I would say France would be up there with the U.S. and Germany in terms of competing for the best safety record, though there's no way to declare a real winner. -Theanphibian (talkcontribs) 04:14, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, true. There are probably comparisons out there, already, though, that we could reference. I haven't found any yet. — Omegatron 23:59, 29 August 2007 (UTC)


DO NOT edit war about the percentage of power from nuclear power. This is why Wikipedia exists, to clarify the details, not give a watered down figure you see everywhere else.

France produces x amount of electricity, n amount from nuclear.
France exports y amount of electricity.

ergo, n/x would not be a very representitive number. n/(x-y) I think would be more representitive, but neither should be given without other numbers. I suggest to abandon reporting a percentage at all. -Theanphibian (talkcontribs) 14:22, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

I am pretty sure no edit warring is or was going on. I reverted what I thought was vandalism or a test edit, only to see the same anonymous user revert my edits. As you can see in the article's history, rather than revert his revert of my revert, I rewrote the section and included citations to back up the facts being asserted. It seems to me that the wiki process is running smoothly in this case. As for your issue with mentioning percentage of nuclear power in the article: 1) I feel like percentage is probably a useful figure, and 2) I wouldn't oppose your editing it out. I support your being bold. -FrankTobia (talk) 19:26, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Stephanie Cooke[edit]

The article is interspersed with citations from Stephanie Cooke's anti-nuclear book. I find those citations misleading, because she uses the 'magic playing field' routine to criticize nuclear power (first cite a number that makes other sources look good, then cite a completely unrelated number that makes nuclear power look bad). For example, it is said that 70% of total energy use in France was from fossil fuels. This figure is not compared with other countries at all, so the reader has no way of knowing whether it is high or low. Furthermore no hint on how a lower figure could be achieved is given. The actual source for the number is not cited either, and anti-nuclear activists are often weak on the facts or just lying (for example, Greenpeace claiming a death toll of 200 000 for Chernobyl). I would be wary to trust their numbers. I expect this figure to be upwards of 95% for countries without large renewable or nuclear capacity.

--Tweenk (talk) 15:33, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Map annotation is confusing[edit]

... because the use of red and blue colour is opposite between the symbol and its annotation — Preceding unsigned comment added by PSeibert (talkcontribs) 12:39, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

The color of the dots is consistent. If you mean the text color doesn't match, that's mostly because the non-active plants haven't had articles written about them and most of the operating plants have. We can't change the text color. -Theanphibian (talkcontribs) 12:44, 13 April 2011 (UTC)


There is a discussion which is also related to this article or category. You are welcome to take a part of this discussion. Beagel (talk) 15:18, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

The flexibility of load folowing of modern NPP's[edit]

The article as it is now reads . Due to the general inflexibility of modern reactor designs compared to fossil energy based power plant, to achieve this high load factor

What is stated here as inflexibility of NPP's is clearly wrong.

NPP's are the most economic power source when available in the grid , NPP's can follow the load, but as the variable cost in generating is so low, the nuclear electricity is most economic at full capacity , because it will always be lower in price, than any other source. The nuclear fuel cost component, is just a very small fraction of total cost, so nuclear energy is the last that will be cut of the grid in France. In fact modern NPP's are very flexible in "load following" , generally able to vary between 30-100% of rated capacity , but it is economically wise, not to do so. In fact Germany , forces NPP operators to generate in load following ,to give the power from wind and solar priority , giving alternative sources an artificial advantage and boosting their statistics . Work in load following mode under 100% rated capacity can give the plant some extra days between refuelling outages. The main cost for an NPP are capital costs, interest and amortisation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:33, 28 May 2012 (UTC) section Load-following with PWR nuclear plants--Dwalin (talk) 11:51, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Cost of electricty in France data removed, why?[edit]

This sentence has recently been removed-

France's electricity price to household customers is the 7th cheapest amongst the 27 member European Union and the 2nd cheapest to Industrial consumers, behind only Bulgaria

& Similarly this was also entirely removed - France is also the world's largest net exporter of electric power, gaining 3 billion Euros per year from these sales. France exported a net 2.4 TWh to Germany after Europe's largest economy shut seven nuclear reactors in a reaction to Japan's Fukushima disaster. & entsoe - european network of transmission system operators for electricity.

Boundarylayer (talk) 01:55, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

It seems "cost of electricty" is still an issue four years later, in March 2016 User:GliderMaven added a Relevance-inline tag with the comment "this is written as if it is due to nuclear power, without a solid reference". This is in the introduction to the article and makes no reference as to why costs are low. And since no one has wanted to discuss this in two months, I'm removing the tag. Dougmcdonell (talk) 05:42, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
No, the reason electricity is currently reasonably low in France has nothing specifically much to do with nuclear power; it's to do with things like levels of taxation, the age of generating plant, that kind of thing. The electricity in Germany uses a lot of coal, and would have been cheaper still, but they raised domestic prices and use it to subsidise industry. In Denmark they have high taxation on electricity. France has low taxation. Nuclear power is actually a fairly expensive way to make electricity, more expensive than coal, but "strangely" this was written implying that correlation gave causation.GliderMaven (talk) 22:10, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Undefined acronym: EJP[edit]

Articles should never use undefined acronyms, especially when an acronym is obscure. Please define EJP (as in "the EJP France's nuclear reactors are forced to be used in load-following mode"). (talk) 16:55, 12 September 2012 (UTC)