NEI translates Roussely report into English

30 July 2010

Commissioned in the wake of the political turmoil following France's failure to win the contract for four nuclear power plants in the UAE, the wide-ranging 23-page Roussely report (originally published in French) blames many groups, and makes lots of suggestions. NEI magazine presents a translation here.

In the report, author Francois Roussely, a former EDF president, recognises the scale of problems facing the French nuclear industry: lack of export competitiveness, falling domestic load factor, delays and cost overruns in EPR construction projects.

The report's main recommendation (one of 15) is a closer strategic partnership between Areva, and EDF. Areva is EDF's biggest supplier; and EDF is Areva's biggest customer. But the two have distanced themselves in recent years for business reasons. The report proposes that EDF, with its unique experience as an architect-engineer, should be at the centre of any reactor export projects. In addition, it suggests that a new government ministry of energy should be formed to facilitate the coordination of the two.

It says that the EPR design should immediately take on board feedback from the current construction projects, and change ('optimise') the design based on that feedback.

It also proposes hiving off Areva's mining operations, and their substantial costs, into a new company controlled by Areva. It also proposes forming a task force to review existing nuclear safety with an eye toward their cost; regulatory agencies at least, it says, should not continue to increase safety rules.

It also states the the French government should support the CO2 market price, and change the rules for renewable energy subsidies to include nuclear power.

An edited translation of the report is below. Or download the text as a Microsoft Word document to the right.

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