Wednesday 4 March 2015

Nuclear First Strike In Europe

I haven't forgotten my intention to have a crack at the sinister putative EU Energy Union initiative: but in the meantime, here's an interesting development of one of the strands suggested last week.  I wrote:
France has always wanted the rest of us to pay its astronomical nuclear decommissioning bill so a 'CEP' was always going to be on the table to join the CAP at some stage ... Why would the fervent anti-nukes allow France the opportunity to enshrine the nuclear option in an EU charter? (as they surely will - an absolute red line for them)
Well France has made the first strike, cannily rallying the UK and others to her flag.  (Why exactly the Grauniad fingers Romania is anyone's guess: their fault, I suppose, for being pushed out in front by the French.)  They call for
"new EU financing mechanisms for nuclear as a low carbon technology, and research and innovation initiatives to deal with the costly and unresolved issues of nuclear waste and decommissioning. New state aid guidelines are also needed, it says, and these should be based on past EU decisions, including the approval of the UK’s planned Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Somerset. “It is vital that the forthcoming communication on an Energy Union reaffirms the important role that nuclear power ... can potentially play in Europe”
Note the other countries involved: Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovenia and Slovakia.  In other words, this isn't just a nuclear hunting party, its members include the core of the anti-Russian eastern grouping (with which the UK is often allied in matters EU) - another key strand we identified last week.

"Energy Union" obviously means very different things to different people.  I'm looking forward to a ten-nation riposte along greenish, anti entente-cordiale-nuclĂ©aire lines.  Britain and France and Poland and Czechoslovakia against, errrr, Germany and Italy and Austria ... this promises to be epic.  Energy Union in our lifetime?  Pardon me if I'm skeptical.



Anonymous said...

Britain and France and Poland and Czechoslovakia against, errrr, Germany and Italy and Austria.

If Merkel and Putin sign a non-aggression pact then its Anderson shelters in the gardens again.

CityUnslicker said...

Merkel has already surrenderd to Putin. All will become clear shortly.

dearieme said...

If the World came to its senses and adopted rational measures of the dangers of radioactivity, I imagine decommissioning would be a good deal cheaper. I'm disappointed that France hasn't taken a lead on this.

rwendland said...

I see S&P have downgraded Areva's debt to BB- after Areva's 4.8 billion euro loss for last year was posted. It seems very "brave" to have Hinkley Point C prepared for a reactor supplied by a company that could easily go bust at any time during the build! France's Nukes4All Inc business needs its best thinking hat on!

rwendland said...

... looking at the loss announcement more closely I see Areva plan to "Cost cuts, including a freeze on salaries and wages, would also yield about €1 billion in savings annually by 2017". Isn't it so reassuring that we plan to have a nuc in Somerset built by people so positvely motivated toward a high quality product!

At least the NYT says "Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, is looking tenuous".