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France to freeze fast-breeder nuclear reactor project



By Reuters

Petroleumworld 11 30 2018

** The French government has informed Japan that it would freeze the next generation fast-breeder reactor project in 2020, according to a Nikkei business daily report.

** Japan, which has been cooperating with France on a fast-breeder development, has invested about 20 billion yen ($176.27 million) for the project, the report added.

** The French government will halt research into the Astrid (Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration) project in 2019, with no intention to allocate a budget from 2020 onwards, the report said, without citing sources.

** France was initially planning to invest 1 billion euros ($1.14 billion) into the project by 2019 and decide whether to go ahead with the construction by mid-2020s, the report added.

** The freeze would be a big blow to Japan's nuclear policies after the country pulled the plug in 2016 on an $8.5 billion Monju prototype fast-breeder project designed to realize a long-term aim for energy self-sufficiency after decades of development.

** Japan's trade ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.

** French state nuclear agency CEA has said it proposed to the government to scale down a planned prototype breeder reactor to 100 megawatt-200 megawatt from 600 megawatt.

** Breeders can burn spent uranium fuel, plutonium and other nuclear waste products. Russia is the only nation to have working breeder reactors.

** Background on Astrid project and breeder technology: tinyurl.com/y84d2hvc

Note: Reuters has not verified this story and does not vouch for its accuracy

($1 = 0.8798 euros)

($1 = 113.4600 yen)


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Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips from Reuters.

11 29 2018

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