Nuclear: environmental exemptions to run five power plants

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Nuclear: environmental exemptions to run five power plants

AFP, published on Saturday, August 06, 2022 at 10:53 a.m.

Nuclear power plants Blayais, Saint-Alban-Saint-Maurice, Golfech, Bugey and Tricastin will benefit until September 11 from environmental exemptions concerning water discharge temperatures due to high temperatures, despite possible negative impacts for the environment.

A decree published on Saturday in the Official Journal sets “new thermal discharge limits applicable to the reactors of the nuclear power plant Bugey, Blayais, Saint-Alban-Saint-Maurice, Golfech and Tricastin”.Each plant has its own regulatory water discharge temperature limits not to be exceeded, so as not to heat up the surrounding waterways and to protect the fauna and flora. The power plants indeed pump water to cool the reactors, before rejecting it.

These derogations are justified by the fact that “in the absence of temporary modification of the current thermal discharge limits, the operator should stop the operation of these nuclear power plants or reduce their production in order to limit the heating of the Gironde estuary for the Blayais power plant , the Rhône for the Saint-Alban-Saint-Maurice and Bugey power stations, the Garonne for the Golfech power station and the Donzère-Mondragon canal for the Tricastin nuclear power station”, even though the maintenance at a minimum level production of nuclear power plant reactors (…) constitutes, with regard to the security of the electricity network, a public necessity”.

It is specified that the implementation of these measures will be “associated with a program of reinforced monitoring of the environment”.

“The Bugey nuclear power plant has just been authorized to discharge warmer water than usual. This is not going to help improve biodiversity in the Rhône, which suffers from summer heat waves, like all French rivers”, reacted on Twitter the NGO France Nature Environnement (FNE).

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