March 2019

e-Bulletin is FORATOM's monthly external newsletter. It provides a wrap-up of what happened recently in the nuclear sector in Europe and of EU institutional developments related to nuclear.


Normandy Puts Itself Forward As Candidate Site For New Generation Of EPRs

The Normandy region of France has put itself forward as a candidate site for the construction of a new generation of French EPR nuclear power units, Paris-based nuclear society SFEN said.
SFEN said Hervé Morin, president of the Normandy region, and Jean-Bernard Lévy, president of state-owned utility and nuclear operator EDF, had officially put forward the region as a site for two new EPRs, known as the EPR 2.
French President Emmanuel Macron said last month the country will decide around 2022 whether EDF will be allowed to build new nuclear reactors.

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Finnish EPR receives operating licence

The Finnish government granted utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) an operating licence for the first-of-a-kind EPR at Olkiluoto. Once it enters commercial operation early next year, the 1600 MWe pressurised water reactor will supply some 15% of the country's electricity demand.The announcement by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy (TEM) followed the submission of a positive statement and security assessment to the ministry on 25 February by Finland's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Stuk).

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Want to Stop Climate Change? Then It's Time to Fall Back in Love With Nuclear Energy

Exactly eight years ago, an earthquake off the east coast of Japan set a massive tsunami on a collision course with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The wall of water overwhelmed the reactors’ cooling mechanisms and over the next four days the plant suffered three nuclear meltdowns. It became the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. In response, Germany, Switzerland and some others around the world accelerated their plans to ditch nuclear power as an energy source.
Nuclear power is virtually free of emissions. By contrast, we burn coal and gas at industrial scale to make electricity, pumping carbon dioxide and other noxious chemicals into our atmosphere.

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Why Europe Should Put More Focus On Nuclear R&D And Fast Breeder Reactors

Research and development in the nuclear sector in Europe should focus on fast breeder reactors that will be capable of supplying energy needs for thousands of years with existing uranium or thorium resources, Leon Cizelj, president of the European Nuclear Education Network, told NucNet. Mr Cizelj said Generation IV breeder technology will also reduce the already small amount of radioactive waste that conventional reactors produce by a factor of three or more.
He warned, however, that most national nuclear R&D programmes in the EU are decreasing in scope, funds and the number of researchers.

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“Nuclear energy is one of these critical technologies. It’s ideal for dealing with climate change, because it is the only carbon-free, scalable energy source that’s available 24 hours a day.”

Bill Gates, Founder, TerraPower (source:, 28 March 2019)

External publication

Hinkley Point C: Realising the Socio-economic Benefits

EDF Energy released its annual report which provides an update and overview of the benefits the Hinkley Point C project brings to the community, while underlining the project's continued goal of providing a lasting legacy for people, industry and the economy.

The report focuses on several areas: skills, training and employment, economic benefits and the supply chain, the investments in the local community, as well as wider long-term benefits of the project.

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Global Energy and CO2 Status Report

In March 2019, the International Energy Agency released its second Global Energy & CO2 Status Report.

The report provides a snapshot of recent global trends and developments across fuels, renewable sources, and energy efficiency and carbon emissions. Moreover, the publication shows that due to higher energy consumption, CO2 emissions rose by 1.7% in 2018 .

According to the report, nuclear generation increased by 3.3%, or 90 TWh, and nuclear plants worldwide met 9% of a 4% global increase in electricity demand.

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Graphite Inspections at Hunterston B

Check out this video by EDF Energy which explains why the inspection of the graphite core in nuclear reactors is important.


Nuclear and climate change
Nuclear helps EU Members States meet their CO₂ emission reduction targets while having one of the lowest land footprints.
Download FORATOM’s latest infographics and learn more about many benefits of nuclear energy.
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