EDF exiting Nuclear and entering Renewables

07th August 2013  To: 07th August 2013

The world's biggest operator of nuclear plants is exiting the nuclear power sector in the USA; turning instead to renewable energy.
According to Reuters, French utility EDF recently struck an agreement partner Exelon with regard to EDF's exit from their Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG) joint venture, which operates five nuclear power stations totalling 3.9 gigawatts capacity.
EDF's US operations will now focus on developing renewables-based generation, primarily solar power and wind energy, through EDF Renewable Energy.  The company currently has a portfolio of over 5 gigawatts of projects and 2.3 gigawatts of installed capacity. 
In July, EDF Renewable Energy also announced it had entered into a Membership Interest Purchase Agreement with Lincoln Renewable Energy to acquire the first phase of the Hereford Wind Project in Texas.
The nuclear power industry has fallen on very tough times in the USA; primarily due to cheap gas and wind power. 
Perception of nuclear energy also took a major hit after the Fukushima nuclear crisis, which worried many Americans. Approximately 18 million people live within a 30 kilometre radius of a nuclear power plant in the USA - an area the same size as the initial Fukushima evacuation zone.
The Fukushima disaster continues to generate crises on a regular basis. A new emergency has recently been declared; triggered by radioactive groundwater breaching a barrier built to contain it. 
Contaminated water could rise to the surface within three weeks and if it should do so, the flow could be "extremely fast".
TEPCO, operator of the Fukushima facility, says it has been slow to deal with the subterranean water leaks as it was focused on cooling the damaged 
reactors that posed greater risks. 
Faith in TEPCO's abilities to address the situation is fragile and the company's apologies are being received coolly by the people of Japan - and more nasty surprises are certainly possible during the massively expensive cleanup.



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