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Julien Aubert: “Fessenheim must become a laboratory for French nuclear power plants”


FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE - The vice-president of the Republicans proposes to transform the old power station, which has been shut down since June 2020. This solution would make it possible to get out of the current puzzle from above, he explains.

Former deputy of Vaucluse, Julien Aubert is vice-president of the Republicans.

The current work of the parliamentary committee on France's energy sovereignty demonstrates, day after day, what Les Républicains have been constantly proclaiming for ten years: it is not a policy of transition but of energy betrayal that has been conducted under the two previous mandates, and the Fessenheim plant was the sacrificial scapegoat.

The two pressurized water nuclear reactors with a unit power of 900 MWe were shut down definitively in 2020. It is unlikely that the plant will be able to restart.

EDF, the Fessenheim operator, removed the fuel and decontaminated the primary circuit of each of the two reactors.

The only certainty is that the dismantling of the plant will take a long time.

It should start in 5 years and last about twenty years.

So what future for the plant?

It would be more useful to turn this error into a strength, by transforming Fessenheim into a laboratory for the aging of power plants.

Let's not forget that we have 56 other nuclear units which will reach the end of their life at an age resembling that of Fessenheim.

The laboratory track would make it possible to come out on top of the current puzzle.

The strategic stake is high for France: to see if in Fessenheim, there is corrosion under stress, even if it is never restarted.

Julien Aubert

Already, the scientific community and in particular the IRSN have made progress along this path.

Indeed, with Fessenheim, the nuclear experts realized that they could carry out extensive investigations during dismantling, in order to analyze the state of the reactor, and above all better understand the way in which the tanks evolve.

For example, the vessel and the vessel internals of the most irradiated of the two reactors could be cut out in order to carry out research on thermal aging under stress and the irradiation of these steels.

Authority over Fessenheim could then be transferred from EDF to the merged entity IRSN-ASN.

Indeed, the IRSN already has nuclear research reactors in Cadarache piloted by the CEA, which are essential for testing various reactor safety issues.

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The strategic stake is high for France: to see if in Fessenheim, there is corrosion under stress, even if it is never restarted.

The future text on nuclear power could be the ideal vector for making Fessenheim and future closed sites laboratories for research and experimentation in the field of nuclear electricity production, safety, security and the duration of life of these facilities.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-10

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