“Rationing, rotating cuts and electrical blackouts: chronicle of an announced chaos”

FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE – Following the model of the German green ideology, the French state has created the conditions for the energy crisis, explains engineer Christian Semperes. We have gone from guaranteeing the service to the public to managing the electricity shortage, he adds.

Christian Semperes, an energy engineer, participated in the commissioning of the 58 PWR reactors in the 1980s and 1990s, in the operation of the facilities and in the simulator training of nuclear operators.


We are coming out of the previous two five-year terms with the idea that 100% renewable would be technically possible and that we could, in fact, stop nuclear without any impact on the guarantee of the electrical service. This despite the fact that the nuclear and hydro combination has guaranteed French electricity at one of the lowest prices in Europe for more than 43 years.

This idea is based on the lack of knowledge of the energy field and the exaggeration of beliefs derived from the German green ideology by the French State. In short, eco-ideo-logic has replaced eco-logic and scientific logic. explanations.

The last blackout electricity in France dates from December 19, 1978, that is, 353 days after the industrial start-up of the first nuclear unit in Fessenheim, which opened the era of energy transition, from 1978 to 1999, by substituting fossil fuels by a mix of nuclear and hydraulic energy.

For 43 years, France has lived, without rationing, without blackoutsin whatimmanuel macron called “abundance”. Public service officials call it “satisfy the needs of the French economy and the French people with a quality and continuity of service that promotes a surplus in foreign trade”. The majority shareholder state has memory loss. So.

Modeled after German green ideology, the French state has built 33 GW of randomly intermittent solar and wind generation facilities, in exchange for €121 billion in public subsidies. In 2020, it closed the 2 Fessenheim reactors in perfect working order, safe according to the Nuclear Safety Authority, low in carbon (4 g CO2/kWh), controllable, economically profitable and redeemable. But that is not all.

He also drafted Law No. 1908 of April 30, 2019, which provides for the closure of another 12 reactors in the same state as Fessenheim but even safer since they will have the safety modifications of the 4 integrated.me ten year visit. Ironically, he built and commissioned a gas-fired power station (418g CO2/kWh) at Landivisiau in Brittany, in the midst of the gas crisis in March 2022 and… planned to reopen the coal-fired power station (1050g CO2 / kWh) from Saint Avold in Moselle, at the end of 2022.

Obviously, the production capacity of the hydraulic park will be reduced this winter, while the dams recover their capacity after the thaw in the spring of 2023.

christian semperes

Today we see the result of this energy policy imposed by Germany through the European Commission. After stopping its nuclear power, Germany became totally dependent on Russian gas. And to avoid electricity rationing, Germany is forced to reactivate its coal plants, which emit a lot of CO2, even after having built 127 GW of renewable solar and wind energy, that is, 4 times more than France.

In short, since the renewable means of production are randomly intermittent, there will be a lack of controllable means of electricity production to satisfy winter consumption, which doubles compared to summer.

The average load factor of the solar park is 15% per year. In the period around the winter solstice, this load factor falls well below 10%. Even with 12 GW of installed power, the power supplied is epsilonic in terms of consumption. So we cannot rely on solar energy. The load factor of the wind farm, meanwhile, is around 20% throughout the year.

During a period of winter anticyclone and therefore of intense cold that causes high electricity consumption, the wind will not be able to blow for more than two weeks (that’s how it was, at least, in January February 2021 and 2022). Even with 19 GW of installed power, the load factor is also negligible compared to consumption. So we can’t rely on wind power either. With the dry period that we are going through in 2022, the water levels in the dams are low.

Obviously, the production capacity of the hydroelectric park will be reduced this winter, while the dams recover their capacity after the thaw in the spring of 2023. As of 2021, the 900 MW nuclear park has started its safety re-evaluations of 4me inspections every ten years, with large-scale modifications to further improve safety. These are particularly long stops, of the order of several months.

These modifications are of a regulatory nature, and the producer cannot avoid them under penalty of non-validation of the restart by the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN). Therefore, the capacity of the nuclear park will be reduced.

The crisis in Ukraine, and therefore in gas, obliges, it is thanks to coal that our political leaders hope to “overwinter”. Germany is reactivating coal power plants, France is also reactivating the Saint-Avold power plant.

christian semperes

To this is added the doubt about the corrosion of certain parts of the pipes that forced the nuclear operator to stop 16 reactors throughout 2022. In some reactors destructive controls (pipe cuts) were carried out that now require repair.

But as said recently Jean-Bernard LévyEDF CEO, “We lack weapons because we don’t have enough trained teams. […] They told us “your nuclear fleet will decrease, prepare to close plants” […]. Obviously we don’t hire people to build others.”. Therefore, the capacity of the nuclear fleet will be further reduced. And when we blindly follow an ideology in the absence of physical and scientific reasoning, we arrive at the paroxysm of ideological logic.

The Ukraine crisis, and therefore the gas, obliges, it is thanks to coal that our political leaders hope “winter”. Germany is reactivating the coal power plants, France is also, as I mentioned earlier, is reactivating the Saint-Avold power plant. Is it necessary to remember here that coal is the most polluting energy?

The State is already asking for electricity savings. Will they be enough? This summer, the electricity network and distribution operators RTE and Enedis have drawn up rotating cut-off plans for this winter. This is how, in two periods of five years and four months, we went from guaranteeing the service to citizens to managing the electricity shortage.

SEE ALSO – Should universities temporarily close to save energy this winter?

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