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[en] Improving access to energy is a multi-faceted challenge that has far-reaching implications and long-lasting obligations. Energy is essential to all human activities and, indeed, critical to social and economic development. Lack of energy is a contributing factor to states of perpetual poverty for individuals, communities, nations and regions. In contrast, access to energy opens many new opportunities; and meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals cannot be accomplished without access to affordable energy services
[en] Constituting a high value added sector for France, civil nuclear power is faced with regulatory, societal and economic constraints, all of which weigh on industry's various participants. In a world context, where electricity production is booming, the future share of nuclear power is under threat. Nuclear power has important assets: reliability and independence but has also to face societal, political and economic pressures. The outlook for mature electronuclear technology is dependent on the innovations that its actors can promote. The 4. generation reactors are far more innovative than the previous generation in terms of a far better utilisation rate of uranium resource, or of co-production of electric power and heat that can be used for instance for hydrogen production. Innovations can also be found in the size of reactors: small and medium sized reactors can be proposed to meet the energy demand of countries whose energy consumption grows faster than the development of their infra-structures. Another step necessary for the development of nuclear power is the implementing of the same international high standards of nuclear safety any where in the world
[en] Since they were first used in the 1930s, nuclear techniques have made a huge contribution to human well-being and saved tens of millions of lives. Today, they play an increasing role in both the diagnosis and treatment of major non-communicable diseases, including cancer and heart disease. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in 2015 include a commitment to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” Nuclear science can make a significant contribution to the achievement of this goal. The IAEA is committed to helping its Member States use nuclear science and technology to reduce the number of deaths from non-communicable diseases by one third by 2030, a key SDG target.
[en] The Georges Besse II plant is located on the Tricastin industrial platform, the historic site of the French nuclear industry since 1960, and is specialized in uranium enrichment for the fabrication of nuclear fuels. In 2011 the Georges Besse II plant took over the EURODIF plant and since then centrifugation instead of gaseous diffusion technology has been used for uranium enrichment. This technology change reduced by 98% the electric power consumption of the plant and no more water is taken from the nearby Rhone river as a water closed system has been set. Plant's buildings are only half as tall as EURODIF's ones which allows a better integration in its surroundings. The Georges Besse II plant was designed to have the least possible environmental impact and earned the triple quality ISO certification concerning health, safety and environment. (A.C.)
[en] Uranium mining is a niche business because of its production volume and the size of its market that have nothing to do with coal market or iron ore business. It is a very concentrated business with only a few players. New AREVA is one of them with an output of 11.186 tons of uranium representing 15% of the world production in 2016. New AREVA has committed oneself to preserve the environment during the exploitation phase of a mine. Environment samples (soil, water, plants...) are collected to draw an initial picture of a site before mining activities begin in order to minimize the environmental impact. In some sites, for instance in Mongolia, water is scarce and has to be spared, a recycling technology for the sludge recovered from drilling operations, has been tested with success. Another challenge is the adaptation to the climate warming as both a player and a victim because most sites are in zones that are very sensitive to climate change and because mining can release greenhouse effect gases. The final challenge that faces New AREVA at the end of a mining cycle is to succeed the remediation of the site, it does not mean a come back to the initial situation which is impossible to reach but to get an environmental state that is safe and durable. In 2011 AREVA joined the International Counsel for mines and metals (ICMM) in order to share a code of practice for a sustainable development. (A.C.)
[en] Along with petroleum and coal, natural gas is the primary cause of global warming. Equiterre believes that the energy sector must be completely decarbonised by 2050 if catastrophic consequences caused by this warming are to be avoided. The Utica shale formation in the Saint Lawrence Valley has been the object of much prospecting activity. The aim of the present study is therefore to determine if the development of shale gas can play a transitional role in the move towards a decarbonised energy system. To do this, Equiterre considers that gas should be substituted for more polluting fuels as quickly as possible and that thereafter it should be rapidly replaced by carbon-free fuels. Equiterre also considers, however, that the establishment of a shale gas industry in Quebec would only increase the overall volume of greenhouse gas emissions. Equiterre concludes that the setting up of a shale gas industry in Quebec is a purely commercial proposition which, at the best, would contribute nothing to the struggle to combat climate change.
[en] On September 15. and 16., 2004, at Rene Delcourt invitation, President of the C.L.I. of Paluel and Penly, took place the 4. colloquium of the A.N.C.L.I.. Jean Dasnias, new President of the C.L.I., welcomed the colloquium. Hundred of persons participated. The place of the nuclear power in the energy perspectives of tomorrow, its assets and its weaknesses in front of the other energies and within the framework of a sustainable development, are so many subjects which were discussed. The different tackled subjects are: the stakes in the sustainable development; energy perspectives; the reactors of the fourth generation; nuclear power and transparency; sustainable development and I.R.S.N. (N.C.)
[en] Circular economy means no production of waste through re-using and recycling. As other industries, nuclear industry has committed itself to a policy of sustainability and resource preservation. EDF has developed a 5 point strategy: 1) the closure of the fuel cycle through recycling, 2) operating nuclear power plants beyond 40 years, 3) reducing the volume of waste, 4) diminishing the consumption of energy through the implementation of new processes (for instance the enrichment through centrifugation uses 50 times less power than gaseous diffusion enrichment) and 5) making evolve the prevailing doctrine concerning the management of very low level radioactive waste: making possible the re-use of slightly contaminated steel scrap or concrete instead of storing them in dedicated disposal centers. (A.C.)
[en] Given current needs in terms of mobility, people have turned toward a means of transportation that is both private and fast. As a consequence, cars now account for the majority of trips made in the world. The challenges raised by mobility are closely linked to energy issues via 3 main factors: the oil price, the environmental regulations and the new expectations of consumers
[en] The 70. anniversary of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is an opportunity for its head Daniel Verwaerde (general administrator) to draw a brief history of CEA, and to recall its 4 missions that are: assuring nuclear deterrence, developing civil applications of nuclear energy, transferring its know-how and technologies to the industrial world, and acquiring knowledge trough basic research. CEA contributes to the re-industrialisation of France by the creation of regional platforms dedicated to technology transfer towards enterprises. CEA works on alternative energies because they are considered complementary to nuclear energy and they can benefit from technologies developed by CEA in other domains. Today's main challenge of CEA (as it is that of nuclear industry) is to control costs in all its projects, if we fail nuclear energy may lose its competitiveness. CEA's long term challenge is to bring technological solutions to produce energy in a sustainable manner, it means succeeding in designing 4. generation reactors and in the ITER fusion project. (A.C.)