The working lifetime of nuclear power plants and new types of power reactors
The report on the working lifetime of nuclear power plants and new reactor types, by Mr Christian Bataille, deputy for the Nord, and Mr Claude Birraux, deputy for Haute-Savoie as well as President of the Office, supplements the studies carried out by the Parliamentary Office on the Safety of Nuclear Installations and Radioactive Wastes: it examines the remaining working life of the EDF nuclear power plants and the current status of projects that might, if circumstances were right, replace the reactors at present in service. The report investigates the different physical and other factors that influence the ageing of nuclear power plants and tackles the question of whether the design life of 40 years could be exceeded in practice. The whole issue of French nuclear power plant is put in perspective and compared with the situation of nuclear plants in Finland, Sweden, Germany and the United States, from the technical and regulatory standpoints. Believing that any attempt to optimise the working lifetime of the power plants currently in service must be accompanied by simultaneous moves aimed at their replacement, Messrs. Christian Bataille and Claude Birraux go on to review in detail the various light water reactor projects being proposed around the world for completion by 2015, as developments of existing models, in particular the EPR reactor of Framatome ANP, characterised by its competitivity. They suggest that a first such reactor should be built as quickly as possible. Describing the other nuclear systems being investigated by research organisations not only in France but also in the United States and Sweden, Messrs. Christian Bataille and Claude Birraux review the objectives of these and the circumstances in which they might be developed, which would be unlikely to be before 2035 in view of the technological problems to be overcome and the industrial demonstration plants that would be needed.
Short title:
Nuke plants lifetime
Start date:
End date:
Energy technology, Environment, Expert-based, Governance, Parliament involvement, Risk
Project leader:
Office Parlementaire d´Evaluation des Choix Scientifiques et Technologiques of the French Parliament (OPECST)

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