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snaw
24th September 2008, 09:13
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7532542.stm

Interesting point:


And if British Energy is eventually sold to EDF, both clean-up and new-build will be dominated by large French companies, which are themselves controlled by the French state.

Not sure I'm all that comfortable with out energy being controlled by the French. Even if they are our allies.

daviejones
24th September 2008, 09:17
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7532542.stm

Interesting point:



Not sure I'm all that comfortable with out energy being controlled by the French. Even if they are cheese eating surrender monkeys.


Better...

Board Game Geek
24th September 2008, 09:20
Not sure I'm all that comfortable with out energy being controlled by the French

Who in turn are incapable of controlling anything anyway.

I wouldn't worry too much.

The worst that could happen is that Homer Le Simpsonné goes on strike and leaves the plant running unattended for a few weeks.

oh...wait...

ratewhore
24th September 2008, 09:20
Not sure I'm all that comfortable with out energy being controlled by the French. Even if they are our allies.

Isn't that better than the vodka swilling russkis though?

ace00
24th September 2008, 09:22
Daily Mail readers out in force I see.

snaw
24th September 2008, 09:23
Daily Mail readers out in force I see.

No, not really. Just an observation - I've no problem with foreign takeovers, even French companies. it's the connection between those companies and who controls them which I never quite realised. I.E. they're controlled by the French government, de facto meaning our energy future will be in the hands of the French government.

Is it unreasonable, or hysterical (Al la daily mail) to question if this is a good thing?

Board Game Geek
24th September 2008, 09:24
Daily Mail readers out in force I see...
?

sasguru
24th September 2008, 09:45
Who in turn are incapable of controlling anything anyway.

..

You mean as opposed to us Brits who are brilliant at management? :laugh:laugh

BoredBloke
24th September 2008, 10:11
The problem I have with the deal is this. Nobody wants to have a nuclear plant in their back yard. So if you are the French state then why not own a company who builds a load in another country - are you telling me that none of the power created by the plants in the UK will go into the French grid?

VectraMan
24th September 2008, 10:15
are you telling me that none of the power created by the plants in the UK will go into the French grid?

Apparently electricity in France is about a fifth the cost that it is here. More likely they'll be trying to sell us more of their electricity and letting their own peasents have less: more profitable that way.

KathyWoolfe
24th September 2008, 11:33
Apparently electricity in France is about a fifth the cost that it is here. More likely they'll be trying to sell us more of their electricity and letting their own peasents have less: more profitable that way.


Until we end up in disagreement with the French again (and when have we NOT been in disagreement with the French) and they decide to increase their prices - much like the way oil is rising in price at the moment.

Bagpuss
24th September 2008, 11:44
Who in turn are incapable of controlling anything anyway.

I wouldn't worry too much.



Apart from railways, manufacturering cars popular with the UK buying public. Wheras we are brilliant at both of those

Incognito
24th September 2008, 12:16
After all, some 80% of France's electricity is generated by its 59 nuclear power generators, compared with less than 20% in the UK

I know who I'd rather be building and running them.

TimberWolf
24th September 2008, 20:45
Is it going to be called French Energy?

Peoplesoft bloke
24th September 2008, 20:53
I like the French. They still have some respect for their own country. They'd never let a British Company take over EDF, unlike our sell-out governments who will sell anything to any spiv who comes along.

HeliCraig
24th September 2008, 20:54
Ah, but did anybody here the CEO of EDF on PM this evening.

He was asked, twice, and avoided both times:

"If this was the other way around and a large British company was buying all of France's nuclear power generation, do you think the French government would allow it?"

Now, we all know the answer to this really. And even if they did, the Unions would scuper it. The French have their own set of rules, and the rest of us have to live with that!!

TimberWolf
24th September 2008, 20:56
I like the French. They still have some respect for their own country. They'd never let a British Company take over EDF, unlike our sell-out governments who will sell anything to any spiv who comes along.

Yeah, it's nuts, but not as nuts as if we tried to build our own nuclear reactors...BOOM!

Peoplesoft bloke
24th September 2008, 21:21
Yeah, it's nuts, but not as nuts as if we tried to build our own nuclear reactors...BOOM!

Eh? We built 'em in the fifties - and the only reason the Windscale fire happened was because the politicians demanded more plut for weapons.

TimberWolf
24th September 2008, 21:36
Eh? We built 'em in the fifties - and the only reason the Windscale fire happened was because the politicians demanded more plut for weapons.

Yeah, but in the fifties we weren't a nation of shiny suited management consultants / hairdressers :D But more importantly the policy now is to let private enterprise (i.e. shareholders and other numpties more interested in profit than customer service or safety) build and run these projects. This is fine for most things, but nuclear energy? I also don't trust our rocket scientists, they mostly seem carp. Mind you the more you learn the more you see everyone is carp and probably always have been. The irony though is that while our policy is to let private enterprise handle our energy needs, it's being taken over by the French government :laugh A very shrewd policy :rolleyes:

thunderlizard
24th September 2008, 22:30
Let's not start suggesting that Electricité de France is a French company. You can get into trouble for doing that:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4462162.stm

Diver
24th September 2008, 22:34
They own our water, half our motorway bridges. half our gas supplies, so why not our electricity as well?

That villa in the south of France is looking ever sweeter

(and I'll be on the winning side)

TimberWolf
24th September 2008, 22:36
Eh? We built 'em in the fifties - and the only reason the Windscale fire happened was because the politicians demanded more plut for weapons.

Incidentally you may be interested in this Cambridge professors take on nuclear safety at THORP:


The THORP reprocessing facility at Sellafield, built in 1994 at a cost of £1.8 billion, had a growing leak from a broken pipe from August 2004 to April 2005. Over eight months, the leak let 85 thousand litres of uranium-rich fluid flow into a sump which was equipped with safety systems that were designed to detect immediately any leak of as little as 15 litres. But the leak went undetected because the operators hadn’t completed the checks that ensured the safety systems were working; and the operators were in the habit of ignoring safety alarms anyway.

The safety system came with belt and braces. Independent of the failed safety alarms, routine safety-measurements of fluids in the sump should have detected the abnormal presence of uranium within one month of the start of the leak; but the operators often didn’t bother taking these routine measurements, because they felt too busy; and when they did take measurements that detected the abnormal presence of uranium in the sump (on 28 August 2004, 26 November 2004, and 24 February 2005), no action was taken.

By April 2005, 22 tons of uranium had leaked, but still none of the leak-detection systems detected the leak. The leak was finally detected by accountancy, when the bean-counters noticed that they were getting 10% less uranium out than their clients claimed they’d put in! Thank goodness this private company had a profit motive, hey? The criticism of the Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations was withering: “The Plant was operated in a culture that seemed to allow instruments to operate in alarm mode
rather than questioning the alarm and rectifying the relevant fault.”

If we let private companies build new reactors, how can we ensure that higher safety standards are adhered to? I don’t know.


The chances of screwing up big-time using modern off-the-peg reactor designs is probably remote these days. But can the UK private sector create/attract boffins - or competent people? Maybe in the US where they'd pay them well, but over here? What we appear to have gone with instead is a safer (French) government run and profit driven solution (way to go) - and owned (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=owned) by a foreign power to boot. £12 billion is also nice to pocket, as is the increased share price settled with British Energy shareholders. Government and shareholder concerns obviously relate to the more practical things in life, such as money :D

Peoplesoft bloke
24th September 2008, 22:38
Let's not start suggesting that Electricité de France is a French company. You can get into trouble for doing that:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4462162.stm

That's one of the problems - British Gas are shite, but rather than be any use and a supplier to be proud of they try and have a go at EDF just for being French.

Bagpuss
24th September 2008, 23:57
Eh? We built 'em in the fifties - and the only reason the Windscale fire happened was because the politicians demanded more plut for weapons.

Sizewell B was built in the 80s, my dad worked on it.

expat
25th September 2008, 07:18
Eh? We built 'em in the fifties - and the only reason the Windscale fire happened was because the politicians demanded more plut for weapons.No, the reason the Windscale fire happened was that there was a piece of physics that nobody knew about yet, whereby energy could be stored in a crystalline structure (correct me if I'm hazy here) in a particular way, and released catastrophically.

The Lone Gunman
25th September 2008, 07:52
I like the French. They still have some respect for their own country. They'd never let a British Company take over EDF, unlike our sell-out governments who will sell anything to any spiv who comes along.The French are breaking EU rules every day on foreign ownership. It is only the UK that has adopted EU law carte blanche.

expat
25th September 2008, 08:04
The French are breaking EU rules every day on foreign ownership. It is only the UK that has adopted EU law carte blanche.Perhaps we should have adopted it with a caveat that enterprises owned by other governments could not own any of ours?

expat
25th September 2008, 08:10
But can the UK private sector create/attract boffins - or competent people?
The criticism of the Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations was withering: “The Plant was operated in a culture that seemed to allow instruments to operate in alarm mode rather than questioning the alarm and rectifying the relevant fault.” Boffins, yes, we have plenty of talent. Workers who care about what they are doing? Less likely.

Edit: but I would blame management at least as much, for letting it happen.

...and the operators were in the habit of ignoring safety alarms anyway.Workers who did that should not continue there. Managers who allowed it, or didn't know, or didn't care, should also be out.

TimberWolf
25th September 2008, 10:08
Perhaps we should have adopted it with a caveat that enterprises owned by other governments could not own any of ours?

We should stop bashing the Froggies...after all they have us by the gonads and might turn the lights off. A positive note about this that I suspect hasn't been much thought about: our women might adopt French custom and stop shaving and we can return to the days of bush.

Peoplesoft bloke
25th September 2008, 10:14
No, the reason the Windscale fire happened was that there was a piece of physics that nobody knew about yet, whereby energy could be stored in a crystalline structure (correct me if I'm hazy here) in a particular way, and released catastrophically.

Yes, but if they hadn't been told to use fuel containers larger than the original design size, their plan to use scaffolding poles to shift the burning materials out of the core would probably have worked.