All posts by nikopol92

Is semi-arid permaculture productive enough to help save the climate?

Automatic translation from french here.

Open question: is permaculture a fad or a real way to make a substantial contribution to preventing global warming by developing a new carbon sink?

How much is the tonne of CO2 avoided in this configuration? Is it competitive? One can doubt it because the devil often hides in the details.

For the record, nuclear power is potentially 50% of the energy of 2100.

And permaculture is more than 1%?

Concrete examples :

Sadhana Forest

– population reached: permanent 1,500 people, occasional population: 15,000 people.

– target population: 150 million people. (those currently living in arid areas in the 33 degrees N-S range, where the sun is sufficient to provide energy all year round)

– Target population 2050: 3 billion of the 9 billion planned

In 8 years, they have managed to transform laterite lands into tropical orchards that produce more than what is necessary for the inhabitants,

Seed of Life

Thanks to a privileged relation with the inhabitants, the associations and the local communities of Madagascar, Seed of Life restores forests and mangroves formerly lush, but destroyed by the forgetting of ancestral knowledge. The action of Grain De Vie highlights the importance of education and training in the rediscovery of ancient knowledge, but also technical innovation to move to large-scale reforestation.

These NGOs are already acting on 3 continents and in Madagascar: the areas and the populations are immense (attention to the projection of Mercator).

Is it generalizable?

Business model:

Land prices: $ 0.1 / m2 in arid zones, or even half in really desert areas. It can be seen that the groundwater is often less than 100 meters deep in arid zones. In the deserts, it’s 200 m or worse.

Therefore, there are 2 types of situations, depending on whether the rainfall exceeds 300 mm per year or not:

– tropical zone: no watering necessary, a tree captures at least 25-50 kgCO2 / year and costs 0.1 to 0.5 euros. That is 40 trees = 20 euros / tCO2 / year or less than 1 euro / tCO2 after 20 years.

– semi-arid zone (300 to 600 mm of rainfall per year): adult trees do not need watering to survive; Watering is used to pass the dry season and obtain a fruit production economically interesting. 1 tree then costs 2 euros (with watering), so 100 € / tCO2 / year maximum, less than 5 euros / tCO2 after 20 years.

– arid zone (300 mm / year or less): watering all year necessary. It costs about 6 euros per tree, so about 15 euros / tCO2 over 20 years.

– arid zone (300 mm / year or less): watering all year necessary. It costs about 6 euros per tree, so about 15 euros / tCO2 over 20 years.
These costs include 20% of tree loss: the 20% do not all die, but we also cut the least productive fruits to recover the wood.
Obviously, we do not count the fruit production and the water, which is entirely given to the inhabitants.
SeedDeVie is already 8 million trees, or 200,000 tCO2 / year. On Earth, there is room to make a thousand to ten thousand GdV without bothering anyone, 10 times more putting the package on the green belts around megacities and urban densification, or 0.2 to 2 GtCO2 / year without effort, 10 times more with effort. So the order of magnitude is correct and compatible with W.EC.A.N. (2 to 10 GtCO2 / year of carbon sequestration to go into negative emissions before 2050 and thus rapidly reduce the CO2 concentration, to return to 300 (+/- 50) ppmCO2 before the oceans have had the time too much expand).

What do you think ?

Supplement on 15/08/2017:

Orders of magnitude to avoid 0.5 ° C of global anthropogenic warming by 2100, in addition to 2.5 ° C held by the scenario #MessageSupplyN proposed by the international group of experts in climate energy, GISOC.

– 1 tree every 5 m at 10kgCO2 / year per tree (conservative average estimate, because arid or northern areas are problematic)

– per hectare: 400 trees ==> 4 tCO2 / ha / year

– 10 billion hectares to offset all our emissions: 40 GtCO2 / year

– 100 hectares per km2, that’s 100 million km2

– the surface of the earth is 4 * pi * (6785km) ^ 2 = 629 million km2, so we need 16% of the earth’s surface, so half of the land area. Which is exactly what is left to reforest. QED. For -0.5 ° C, half (8%) would suffice.

0.1 to 8 euros per tree, 5 to 50 kg CO2 captured per tree per year, depending on soil, climate and gasoline combinations.

Seed of life is: 100 € / ha

So 5.5 billion ha for 550 G € for 5 billion people: 550 € investment, but sufficient productivity to allow 2 people to live production of one hectare + 10% of taxes. 2 people live from the production of 0.9 hectare and give the production of 0.1 hectare to the state.

Emerging lands: only 30%, so 200 million km2 available.

Before 2100, replant 55 million km2 (or 100 times the continental France, aka Hexagon, so about 11 billion agroforesilists), or 22 GtCO2 / year captured and use the technology to reduce the rest of GHG emissions (about 22 GtCO2 /year).

Let’s specify the framework. It’s about capturing CO2 quickly by creating a local economy. So this does not of course concern the existing forests, but those that have been destroyed (recently or not). At the limit, you can plant anything, it will always be better than nothing, on the climate. Then, for this to be sustainable, we must avoid:

– natural disasters: mainly fires and parasites. Monoculture is a risk factor. Mixed hardwood and coniferous forests are much more resistant to pests. The loss of wood production becomes negligible at 100 years. It does not act to make pine forests and clear cuts. We are talking about dark cuts, quality timber for construction, orchards for nuts for oxalogen (Mayan walnut) food and CO2 capture.

– economic disasters: diversifying uses is a guarantee of sustainability in all countries. The monoculture of olive trees in the Mediterranean is an exception, the price of olive oil quality has always been high. The use of waste is still being researched. At worst, the spreading is still possible (in low concentrations, because the olive cake quickly becomes toxic).

We try to do this at a reasonable price in the tropics (less than 1 euro per tree). Germans invest 6 to 8 euros per tree to do it at home: it’s as smart as installing PV in Northern Europe given the climate emergency.

Scientific comments about this post?


European Union: Aluminum Alert

April 30 2019


The production of aluminum requires so much electricity that it has been said: “aluminum is solid electricity”. Member States of the European Union have thrown in the towel. 3/4 of primary aluminum needs, a metal increasingly used in modern economies will be imported. And the needs will grow. Fragilized by an energy transition favoring massive renewable energies, European electricity companies are less and less able to make a long-term commitment to supply, at a very low price, the massive quantities of electricity needed by smelters. aluminum. That of Dunkirk must be considered as an exception because it is fed by the Gravelines nuclear power plant. Already Russian aluminum supplies from Rusal are needed, with political uncertainties that 2018 has given a taste. China is in a position to dominate the global aluminum market. With real costs that even Beijing would like to know better, with its zombie companies (local official expression) and its huge carbon emissions due to the use of overcapacity of coal-fired power plants, the landscape of the aluminum industry in China (which produces more than half of the global total of this metal) should reflect on the continuation of imports from this country. With its addictions in gas and oil, the European Union will add some others including rare earths and also aluminum. The pathways of the dependence on the outside for this metal are expected to be full of pitfalls.


The article.

European Union: alert on aluminum.
The European Union states have thrown in the towel: their electrical industry
weakened by the energy transition is less and less able to feed
aluminum foundries. The EU is now 70% dependent on the outside for its needs
primary in this metal, essential for any economy of the 21st century. The foundry of
Dunkirk, the largest in the EU, fueled by a nuclear power plant is an exception.
Supplies from Rusal, a Russian company close to the Kremlin, are essential. We
saw it in 2018 when its European customers were threatened with sanctions
US. Which would have led them to turn more to the new giant of
aluminum, China, whose exports “slowly kill” what remains of the industry
European correspondent (according to an officer of the profession). Chinese aluminum
receives help that Beijing itself can not clarify. But above all, foundries
sources, fueled by overcapacity in coal-fired power plants,
of greenhouse gases making derisory European efforts in the climate field.

European Union: Alert on Aluminum
“Aluminum is Solid Electricity”
This is the expression used by a leader of Rusal, a Russian company, one of the most
major global aluminum production companies.
Its manufacture requires huge amounts of electricity, which accounts for 30 to 40%
in manufacturing costs. This percentage would jump if aluminum producers do not
the world, with exceptionally low current prices.
Any study on the production of aluminum is inseparable from that of the sources of electricity.
The main sources of information:
-For aluminum:
The International Aluminum Institute (IAI): Its members are responsible for more than 60% of the production of bauxite,
alumina and aluminum worldwide.
For aluminum in Europe, “European Aluminum” represents the upstream of the profession (producers in the sense
broad) and the Federation of Aluminum Consumers in Europe (FACE), the endorsement of this industry (metal processing)
-For electricity in China (which produced, in 2018, 56% of the world’s primary aluminum):
The China Electricity Council (CEC) issues an annual summary report. This organization is officially in charge
to collect electricity data and includes most of the production, transmission, distribution and supply companies.
Other sources are mentioned at the bottom of the page.
I. A metal of the XXI
Twenty-five million tonnes produced in 2000, sixty-five in 2018, one hundred and eight
2050. The fastest growth is expected in Asia, but Europe will remain for a long time the
second world market.
It is more and more indispensable in transport. In the automobile industry: in 1990, every
car had 40 to 80 kg. Today this figure has increased to 150 kg. In 2025, it will be 250kg.
Aviation would not exist without aluminum.
It is widely present in the building and public works.
It is ubiquitous in packaging.
Its lightness makes it use in many other branches.
This production, which is rising sharply, called “primary aluminum”, is added to the recycling of
metal used for objects whose use is complete. The recycling rate is important: near
half in France.
II. Production in Europe: the inexorable decline.
A year ago: the report of the European Commission (April 2018):
In April 2018, in a document of the European Commission1
, We read :
“Imports into the European Union of aluminum products have increased by 28%
between 2013 and 2017, from 7.1 million tonnes to 9.1 million tonnes …
In the Union, of the 26 foundries in operation in 2008, 16 are still operational and one
some of them are threatened with closure …
In the global market, primary aluminum prices fell 37% between September
2011 and September 2016.

In 2017, they increased by 25% to nearly 90% of their 2011 level, which nevertheless represents a decrease of about 25% in real terms since
2011 … “.

Today: the report of the profession (April 2019):
A year later, the case did not settle. The Federation of European Consumers
Aluminum (FACE) written under the title “Preventing the bankruptcy of the European
aluminum »
 “For twenty years, we have warned that current policy leads to inexorable decline
of a sector corresponding to one million indirect jobs …
 It should not be surprising that [primary aluminum manufacturing] companies are leaving the
continent, relocating their foundries to countries where energy is good
market, cheap labor and easy access to the European Union ….
 The first culprit is the long-term costs of energy [ie
electricity] which is the basis of aluminum production in the most expensive European Union
in the world … The height was reached with the electricity prices due to the carbon tax and
climate policy. ”
A case apart: the French factory of Dunkirk.
In April 2019, the last foundries in Spain wonder about their survival3
. In sense
reverse, the French plant at Dunkirk, powered by the Gravelines nuclear power plant and
in early 2019 by a new owner (Liberty Aluminum) is assured of its future. She is
become the largest aluminum smelter in the European Union, producing on its own
2018, 13.5% of the Union’s aluminum (284 000 tonnes). The production of a French nuclear kWh
emits only 5 to 6 grams of CO2, making it one of the world’s most
climate friendly4
The Gravelines nuclear power plant comprises six reactors of 900 MWe each, which have served
starting model to a large part of the Chinese nuclear program. Liberty’s facilities
Aluminum Dunkerque have at their disposal a power of 450 MWe, half of a reactor.
They are located in Loon-Plage less than ten kilometers from the nuclear power station.
III. To be or not to be.
Around the world, it is not uncommon for electro-intensive industries, those
consume a lot of electricity like aluminum manufacturing, benefit from very low prices
of the current. The public authorities agree to preserve productions considered as
important, or even strategic. In the European Union, it happens that the formidable Directorate
General of Competition makes “political” decisions by softening the application of its
rules in order to allow a certain factory to continue its activity.
These behaviors have their limits. As stated above by the European Commission,
non-inflationary prices have fallen by 25% in 2017 since 2011. In addition, there are places where
Electricity is so cheap that it’s hard to compete. So the little Iceland (350 000
inhabitants), thanks to its hydroelectricity, produced in 2018 as much primary aluminum as the USA.
The profession, as we have seen above, places European climate policy as
a notable cause of his troubles. The energy transition focused on the production of electricity,
favoring renewable energies such as solar and wind
by including it in a carbon market.

The European aluminum industry stresses the consequences of this carbon market, but there are many other reasons for their difficulty keeping
a power supply corresponding to their expectations.

The electricity market is disoriented by the coexistence of a liberal component with
competition for non-renewable products and a managed economy component
with subsidies, mainly for solar and wind. One consequence is that he has become
impossible to invest in new power plants or electricity storage facilities
without subsidies. The electricity companies regularly remind him5
. This results in a
shortage of new modern and efficient power stations, which would be very useful for possible
additional aluminum foundries.
The energy transition has weakened the electricity companies financially
subsidizing renewables whose electricity is a priority on the grid. This disturbs
other power plants, which have been heavily invested in
becomes difficult. Of course, after subsidy, renewable electricity is very cheap and we note
here and there an aluminum smelter has benefited from a very low cost wind power
(Scandinavia). But this is an artificial price in a disoriented electricity market.
Another major flaw of the European electricity market is its unpredictability whereas
massive and long-term investments are the rule. Companies are subject to
heavy fluctuating political decisions, such as the closing dates of nuclear power plants and / or
coal, or changing regulations, such as the carbon market. he
was enough, recently a simple announcement of modification of the latter’s regulations so that
the wholesale electricity market prices in Western Europe double for a year, to come back,
then, almost to the previous values (for how long?).
Placed in an unpredictable context, weakened financially, unable to invest without
aids, many power companies have problems to commit to very low prices
and in the long run concerning massive power sale contracts. Gold aluminum foundries
are in need of such contracts.
The European electricity sector is becoming less and less adapted to
supply of electricity to aluminum smelters. The main cause is good,
as indicated by the profession (FACE), climate policy, and more
exactly its focus on electricity. Foundries in danger are those
where low current prices in the long run become problematic despite
the friendly pressures of the States and / or the leniency of the
European competition. The context (global and European) is growing
inexorably downward production of primary aluminum in the Union
European. But the needs are on the rise.
EU imports were already 6.5 million tonnes in 20166
IV. The European Union: a loss of independence.
End of 2018, Maros Sefcovic Vice President of the European Commission warned that the Union
In the near future, the European Union could experience a new dependence on
the exterior, as heavy as that vis-à-vis oil and gas, but this time vis-à-vis materials
first, including to implement the energy transition.

And to recall that a 3 MWe wind turbine was asking for “two tons of rare earths and zinc” … and “three tons of aluminum”.

For aluminum, which professionals have warned that 70% of European needs in
growth must be imported, what is the context of this new dependence?
 First of all, the European Union is the quasi-exclusive destination of two producers, the
Norway and Iceland. Icelanders, victims of a serious economic crisis in 2008, last
move away from office jobs to return to directly productive activities, such as
fishing and the manufacture of aluminum. These imports are without problems: both
countries are part of the European Economic Area, that is to say, they follow the rules of
the European Union without having the right to discuss them. Their aluminum comes without the right to
customs and is “clean” from the climate point of view. These countries use hydropower
very low emission of carbon dioxide. The Icelandic part is very cheap, the
Norwegian more expensive. But the combined contribution of the two countries is limited by a
which seems at its maximum: 2.17 million tons in 2017.
 There is a need for other providers. The Russian Rusal, a long time producer
worldwide, currently supplies around 30% of European imports. The company uses
Electricity 90% of hydraulic origin and a nuclear zest. His leader promises that
By 2020, its carbon dioxide emissions will cease with the end of the use of
gas plants. The fight against global warming is respected. The disadvantage is
that the European Union already significantly dependent on Russia for its gas, adds
aluminum. Another is the proximity of this big company with political power
Russian, which in early 2018 provoked American sanctions against Rusal and also against his
European customers. The event coupled with the collapse of a dam in Brazil fueling
the largest alumina plant in the world outside China (Alunorte) caused a notable
price rise in 2018. The crisis has passed but alarmed the professionals
. She showed what impact could a decision of the President of the United States have
on the supply of aluminum from the European Union.
 There is a group of states eager to increase their deliveries, low today,
of aluminum to the European Union. It is the Persian Gulf states grouped together in the
Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain,
United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The increase in electricity prices in many
Western countries dissuaded investors from building new factories
aluminum as the demand for this metal continued to grow. That’s the reason
first of the appearance of a powerful aluminum industry in the Gulf States
Persian, producing more than North America or Western Europe. Electricity is there
made from a very cheap gas, a by-product of oil refineries. In 2017,
these countries produced 5.15 million tons of aluminum and consumed 73.5 TWh
of électricité9
, almost the equivalent of all electricity production in Belgium. it
corresponds to a consumption of 14,300 kWh per ton of metal produced.
By buying more aluminum, the EU adds vis-à-vis these countries, as for Russia,
a new dependence on the already notable one concerning hydrocarbons. But there is a
other consequence. The electricity used in the Gulf States comes practically only
from one source: the combustion of natural gas. It therefore includes significant emissions
carbon dioxide, given the huge electricity needs.

The Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Climate Evolution, (GIEC) believes that a KWH obtained by the combustion of natural gas causes a 490 g of a carbon dioxide (complete cycle). This is an average, which we will use in the absence of a specific study concerning the emissions of the gas plant park in the Gulf countries.

Using this data, the calculation shows that the electricity required for the manufacture of a ton of aluminum primary in the countries of the persian gulf causes carbon domestic emissions of about 7 tons. A massive import policy of aluminum has poor risks (see Rusal). It can also cause greenhouse gas emissions that should, logically, be charged to the European Union. The world’s context of the aluminum market has been deeply modified since a few years by the aerium of a giant: China is the consequences of this major event we are going to study now. V. China: The new aluminum giant and in the early, the first primary aluminum producer, with more than half of the world’s level and the most of the world’s level in 2000 and 2016 (11 thousand tonnes)

Since 2000, most of the global increase (85%) is due to China, which in 2018 produced 56% of the primary aluminum of the planet. For the remaining 15%, the countries of the Persian Gulf are carried out the part of the Lion. Production in the countries already industrialized in the 20th century, which needs to increase) is over the overall, is not aware of which is now not a new one is no longer to fueled its enormous internal market, but exports: almost 6 million tonnes in 2018, in 2015, Gerb Götz of the export manager of the world, “which China is also to act as” the European “, the importance of the world of the world,” is to export eleven million tens of aluminum, 40 to remain the world of aluminum associations to be put in place on a model forum in the aluminum production production (GLOBAL FORM OF STANDER), to assess the very good salt of the Chinese strategy, we must start from the recent history of electricity in the environmental economy in the environmental economy.

(Vi) Electricity in China: an industrial epicment16. In 1990, the annual permission domain per capita in China was one-third of the Egyptian today. A situation that was hardly evil and clearly inconsistent with charming ambitions. It is a number of which is the most of which the United States, the market, the production of which is the most of the European Union (5,000 kWh / annual consumption of China, was the one-to-one-monthly European production, was the lowest-level of the European, with the decades of which the Europeanly intended for the economic and all of the world, and the last year, the original ones which was the lowest company, which is the very important body of the EDF, produced whether the little, which is in the meantime of the European and existing coverage, producing 70% of electricity, operated, in 198, 4361 hours.

One year includes 8760 hours and a coal power plant should be able, with the removal of maintenance time, produce at least for 7000 hours / year.

The provinces, the population of which is often exceeding that of France, have powers extended to economy, and in particular for electricity. The coal plants constitute important sources of jobs and income for local governments that encourage various ways to increase their cultivation. The world’s leading, wealthy, and the most commonly used to organize the world is the most of which is the most of which is the world’s leading aluminum, which is the most of the world’s leading and the basis of the world’s leading, the most of which is the most of which will be a great deal of coastal, which is the most of which will be a very large, the world’s leading orders. The world’s leading, the most of which is the most of which will be a great deal of coal, which is the most of which is the most of which will be a particularly important of the United States. The world. The aluminum franchies, which we are here in the United States of the Aluminum, the Cost of the Chinese, the Costs of Chinese, the Chinese, the 1940-year-olds of the world is a particular basis on the basis of China’s new ordeal furniture. The United States. Italian company, which is the most of which will be a particularly important of the United States. The world. The world. The world, the constantly of the 4,000 or more illeian fisheries. The United States. Italian company, the United States, the United States of America is a particularly important of the United States. The world. The world. The world, the constantly of the company, the invention, the conference of the Chinese, the constantly of the United States. The United States. The world. The United States. Italian company, the following, the conventional, the ultimate of the Chinese, the civil servants of the United States, the world’s leading to the lowest, the world is a particularly important of the United States. The world. The world. The United States. Italian company, the following, the conventional, the ultimate of the Chinese, the civilian and other-laws, which we will be used to the constantly of the United States. The world. The United States. The United States. The United States. Italian company, the United States, the Chinese, the 192% of the Cost of the Chinese, the Chinese, the identity of the Chinese, the Chinese, the Cost of the Chinese (CBC), the United States of America’s international stabilous, which will be discussed by the consideration of the Chinese fixture programs of the Chile, which the following is an accounting taking into account the specificity of the Chinese founding in CM2, which led to emissions of $ 6.6 to 18.2 kg of CO2 per kg of aluminum25, which leads to emissions from 460 to 18.2 kg of carbon carbon for six.

These figures are catastrophic: for its only aluminum foundries, China is issued the equivalent of 15% of all the European carbon emissions of the European Union and more than all the greenhouse gas emissions, all activities combined with French-greenhouse gas, all activities combined. The entire activities combined, the entire activities of the Chinese aluminum, the entire activities albeit the latter aluminum, while it is able to dominate the world’s aluminum industry, and it is able to dominate the world’s labor illuminate and that it is now able to dominate the world’s global dominum, and that it is able to dominate the world’s global activity and that it is now able to dominate the world’s global activity and that it is now able to dominate the world’s global activity and that it is now able to dominate the world’s global activity and that it is now able to dominate the world’s global work and it is now disputed by the world’s business and that it is now driving over the world, which it is able to dominate the world’s global dominum and that it is now driving over the world, which it is able to dominate the world’s global dominum and that it is now able to dominate serious economic albuminum, and it is now able to dominate serious economic albuminum, and it is now able to dominate serious economic albuminum, and it is now able to dominate serious economic albuminum, and it is now able to dominate serious economic albuminum, and it is now able to dominate serious economic albuminum, and it is now able to dominate serious economic alcohum, and that it is now able to dominate serious economic albuminality, and it is now able to dominate serious chopship, and it is now able to dominate serious economic alcohum, and that it is now able to dominate serious economic albuminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chopship, and it is now able to dominate serious economic alcohum, and that it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chopships, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chopship, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now able to dominate serious economic aluminum, and it is now able to dominate serious chops, and it is now

SLC press release. “Astrid: a chance for the climate and for France.”

Communiqué SLC.

#Astrid : une chance pour le climat et pour la France.

Automatic translation.

Summary: While the latest IPCC report once again warns of the need
to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the abandonment of the greenhouse gas
development of the 4th generation Astrid reactor prototype, without any real foundation economic, would mark the sad resignation of our country against a technology that should be crucial in the fight against climate change.

At COP21, the IPCC had imposed on energy scenarios worthy of inclusion in its report (the 5th of its kind) to limit the RCP (Representative Concentration Pathway) to 2.6 W / m2

corresponding to an increase in average temperature of the earth’s surface of 2 ° C since 1850. To meet this limit, cumulative CO2 emissions should not exceed 900 billion tons in 2100.
COP21 decided to study the consequences of reducing the acceptable increase to
1.5 ° C. Scenarios that may meet this limit are described in SR15 Special Report October 9, 2018. With this new limit, cumulative emissions of CO2 should not be to exceed 600 billion tonnes in 2100.
The International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna has realized the family of
MESSAGE scenarios2 characterized by a population of 9.5 billion in 2100 and a GDP of $ 366,000 billion (compared to $ 45,237 billion in 2010):
– The Supply scenario is in line with current developments with consumption global energy end of 755 EJ / year 3 in 2100 (343 in 2010).
– The Efficiency scenario is an “ecological” scenario of nuclear output with a final energy consumption of 427 EJ / year in 2100.
“Nuclearized” variants of the Supply and Efficiency scenarios, indicated here by the suffix -N, have
published by the GISOC group (Global Initiative to Save Our Climate) 4
. These two scenarios are cited in the IPCC Special Report SR15.

1 A PWR of 2.6 W / m2 means that the additional heat received on average by the Earth’s surface due to the effect of greenhouse is equivalent to that which would be received if the average solar irradiation of 340 W / m2 was increased by 2.6 W / m2
Such an increase would correspond to an increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s surface by 2 degrees Celsius.
2 GEA Scenario database, Version 2.0.2,
3 1 EJ = 24 Mtep = 277 TWh

Without special measures, the Supply scenario would lead to a cumulative total of 2700 billion tons of CO2 in 2100, 3 times higher than the limit set by the IPCC, which would lead to
increase in the average surface temperature by more than 5 degrees. This scenario is, obviously, unacceptable. The reduction in final consumption proposed by the scenario Efficiency improves the situation by limiting cumulative emissions to 1480 billion tons of CO2,
value still far too high.
The IIASA researchers then massively introduced the technique of capturing CO2 storage (CSC) after combustion. At the cost of an annual storage of 24 billion tons of CO2, the scenario
Supply limits cumulative CO2 emissions to 1075 billion tons. The same performance is obtained with the Efficiency scenario thanks to an annual storage of 15 billion tons of CO2. The CSC’s current experiments do not exceed a few million tonnes per year, 3 orders of magnitude less than what would be necessary.
In its variant of the Supply scenario, the GISOC group proposes to substitute the production electricity from fossil plants equipped with CCS, that of nuclear power plants. The scenarios of GISOC suppose a multiplication of global wind power by 80, solar power by 300, and nuclear power by 50, the use of fossil fuels disappearing in 2060.

The sum of the CO2 emissions of the Supply-N scenario is then 948 billion tonnes of CO2, lower than the Efficiency Scenario with CSC, while the final allowable consumption is
identical to that of the Supply scenario (ie 755 EJ / year against 427 EJ / year). The limit of 900 Gt would be
practically reached. The capture and storage of CO2 from the atmosphere would prevent exceed the 600 Gt required to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees by having
use of appropriate biomass management.

An increase in nuclear power by a factor of 50 assumes the widespread use of breeder reactors (Super-Phénix type) in 2100 to avoid depletion of reserves of uranium5
. The proposed reactor construction rate is 100 GWe / year between 2020 and 2040, reaching 300 / year in 2100. These figures may seem unrealistic. And yet … the example French shows that they have nothing impossible. To limit global warming to a value
“Liveable”, it would be, from 2025, to generalize to all major industrial countries the effort undertaken by our country between the years 1975 and 2000.

At the time of the decision taken, for purely political reasons, to stop Super Phenix, the France was the reference for SFR6
. This judgment had, of course, a catastrophic effect on
the teams, even though the operation and experiments made on the prototype Phenix of 250 MW
maintained a competence in the matter until the shutdown of this reactor in 2010 after 40 years of
good and loyal services. So that this extraordinary skill is not entirely passed by profit and loss, the CEA undertook to study the ASTRID project as part of the program
Generation 4. This project received a budget of around € 600 million and occupied around 500 engineers and technicians. It seems that the end of the program is envisaged by the new CEA management, thus signaling the renunciation of mastering a technology that will most likely be key to during the century, when Russia (which had taken leadership in the field after stopping Superphenix), India, and China have dynamic reactor construction programs.
SFR type.

This sad resignation from our country will be just one more example of our deindustrialisation since ASTRID, with a posted cost of 5 billion euros would have been almost completely realized in France, while giant wind turbines and photovoltaic panels that benefit from a annual financing of 5 billion euros are almost entirely imported. The courtyard
accounts has shown that the billions of euros taken from the energy bill of the French to support the construction of wind turbines and photovoltaic installations, had no
positive influence on the electrical system of our country, on the contrary, that they did not diminish
CO2 emissions and did not encourage research. To think that it would be enough to devote a year of this mess to allow our country to join the leading pack in the development of a crucial technology for the control of global warming building ASTRID leaves him speechless. Let’s hope that this stupid abandonment will itself be abandoned.
Otherwise, those who have been to the maneuver will carry an overwhelming responsibility
only with regard to the loss of scientific and industrial status of our country but, also, regarding the provision of indispensable tools in the fight against change

4 and doi: 10.1504 / IJGEI.2017.086622.
5 Uranium efficiency is 100 times better with SFRs than with PWRs. It is then possible to exploit
very low-grade deposits, such as extracting it from seawater. Oceans contain 4 billion tonnes
Uranium renewing itself at a rate of 20,000 tons per year thanks to the contributions of the rivers. Usage efficiency divides
also by 100 the volume of nuclear waste.
6 Sodium Fast Reactor in French: Neutrons Rapides Reactor (RNR) cooled with Sodium. Note that these reactors
produce 100 times less waste than pressurized water reactors, and they have the capacity to burn waste
more problematic (minor actinides).

TESLA UK: Some remarks on the use of batteries in the network.

1) The Tesla project in the United Kingdom is apparently identical in size to the one that Tesla put into service at the end of 2017 in South Australia to stabilize the network. It is mainly used for primary adjustment and works very well because of the rapid response of the batteries. Beyond reasons of network security, the interest of these batteries can also be economic if they make it possible to substitute for the primary adjustment provided by controllable means which, therefore, can operate in base at 100% of their power (and not 95%) to improve their production and profitability. It’s a question of comparative costs,

2) That being said, it is essentially the power that is interesting in this case, hence the type of design 100 MW but only 129 MWh capacity, which allows only to spend very short spikes, less than 1 hour (because the batteries can not be completely discharged),

3) To pass for example the winter tip of 19 h in France, which has a roughly triangular evolution shape amplitude of about 5 GW (or a little more) and whose base has a duration of about 2h30 it would effectively have a useful storage capacity of 6 to 7 GWh. Available capacity with current PSP, but which would be much more expensive with batteries. That being said, occasionally replacing some peak TACs of 400 MW by a few batteries of the same power capable of storing 1 to 2 hours of energy can probably provide a partial solution which could be interesting to quantify comparative profitability, knowing that also avoids CO2 emissions. But this does not make sense as long as the current PSP and TACs are sufficient.

TESLA batteries in Australia: storage or anti-blackout?

Translation :

788 x16 Powerwall batteries at 5000 USD, or about 63 MUSD, just in batteries + infrastructure and cooling.

Nearly 100 MUSD!

The price is obviously interesting, but it is difficult to deduce in this case a return on storage, or what amounts to the same cost of MWh destocked. Indeed, the role of this battery (126 MWh of storage for 100 MW of power) is not primarily the storage of energy (the theoretical duration of destocking is 1.26 hours, in practice about 1 hour maximum) knowing that a battery is not used until its complete discharge to preserve its longevity, which limits its possibilities of smoothing the demand or the variations of the EnRis).

The main purpose of this battery is to stabilize the frequency of the network by capping the very rapid fluctuations of EnRis, a battery being able to absorb or restore energy to the network in extremely short times. Its role is therefore to achieve a primary ultra-fast power-frequency setting which makes it possible to correct the gaps before they have consequences on the rest of the network (for lovers of regulation theory, the constants of action time batteries are much lower than network reaction time constants). This system works well, it has been extensively tested by EDF R & D on a test loop of about ten MW and is used with success apparently in several (small) isolated networks of the islands, with powers of the same order.

Functionally, the batteries thus undergo loads / discharges at a high and random rate, according to the cumulative fluctuations of consumption + EnRis. Economically, it is not the stored values that are the main interest, but the stabilization service rendered to the network, which can be extremely large amounts if it avoids blackouts as experienced in the network. South Australian between autumn 2016 and winter 2017 (spring and summer periods for Australia). To fix the ideas, the cost for the community of a blackout in France is estimated by RTE to 25 000 Euros / MWh undistributed !!! I do not know what it is for the South-Australian network, of a very different scale (3 GW of installed power approximately, including imports) but this cost being proportional to the standard of living of the country (it corresponds essentially to the loss of GDP due to the general lack of electricity), it should logically be of a comparable order of magnitude per MWh not distributed.

It remains to be verified that the 100 MW of batteries will be sufficient to stabilize a network whose maximum power can reach 3 GW in order of magnitude. Answer by the facts in a few months, but we can think that the managers of this network have made good simulations … It is to wish for them and for … Elon Musk !

One of the constraints of the batteries concerns the permissible discharge current, just like the charging current.

So the amount of energy stored is interesting data and, in this case, 126 MWh is a high value. However to see the ability to maintain the network frequency during sudden changes, it would be good to know the maximum intensity of discharge.

To get an idea, we can compare the capacity of the battery (126 MWh) and power that allows itself to be drawn (100 MW) to those of the battery (the same type – Li-ion) which is mounted on a Tesla Model X P100D, ie 100 kWh resp. 568 kW.

On the car, it is authorized to pump power proportionally much larger, because this power is absorbed during acceleration, necessarily short, much shorter than the periods during which the battery will be 126 MWh solicited at the level of 100 MW.

The ashes of Superphenix


After its best year of operation, Superphénix was finally closed in 1996, because of an electoral agreement with the Greens and legal disputes, particularly with the canton of Geneva in which these same greens were already involved.
Would this technology have been sold to Russia, as well as some of the sodium stocks, as some sources claim?

In any case, the Russian Rosatom has just been awarded the “Power Award2016” of the best nuclear power plant in the world for its BN 800 whose commercial exploitation has just started this November 1, 2016.

This breeder is thus reborn from the ashes of the fourth generation technology, fast neutrons with sodium cooling, abandoned just 20 years ago by France with the closure of Superphénix. This suggests thousands of years of available fuel and a big step forward in the treatment of waste.

This prize, awarded by the US press in Rosatom, concretizes the “spectacular breakthrough” of Russia since 2005, which made it the world leader in nuclear energy.

Russia has at the same time a basement full of oil, whose production has just exceeded that of Saudi Arabia. It is also the second largest producer of gas, while Europe, heavily dependent on it, remains at the mercy of diplomatic tensions, so all the more worrying that Russia has an alternative to the east. .

In France, the Atomic Energy Commission is working on the design of the equivalent of the Russian BN 800, the experimental reactor ASTRID (Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration) which could see the light at the earliest in 2025, after 30 years of interruption of the sector.

The hard awakening of France on its faded laurels

For having considered that its nuclear fleet represented a rent for life and required only a minimum of maintenance and a total absence of renewal, France is now faced with the obligation to bring several reactors into conformity.

And suddenly seems to realize that its 11000 MW wind supply electricity only in the wind and not the needs of consumption.

Risking thus to understand, at his own expense, that in the absence of this wind, it is the TOTALITY of the PILOTABLE power currently installed that the country needs.

Indeed, a supply disruption, in the event of a period of high anticyclonic cold (by definition, without wind), would have dramatic repercussions.

But at least it would highlight the little sense of the concept of competitiveness released from the comparison of a random MWh with a controllable MWh.

The services rendered by each of them being out of proportion.

The return to reality

According to a confidential report, consulted by The Guardian, the European Commission intends to reconsider the advantages granted to renewable energies, in order to allow more flexibility of production and more competitiveness.
If the Russians have oil, they seem to have more in the minds and remained unaffected by the mirror larks wind, if we believe their only 17 MW wind turbines installed since 2007, listed on the Windpower website.
Our lag in energy is certainly not the one we believe.

Nuclear Fusion: “Why I think Lockheed Martin “… will not succeed, and some other considerations

2015 : translation.

Reaction to ads of this type in the media:

Fundrising …
The art of passing messages of hope to reach research funds …

The media loves it …
An announcement, a denial, two informations to publish…
No ethical will to confront points of view and make sense.
And it does not matter if the discernment of the public is affected …

Criticize this ? You go for joy flaps that brandish an irresponsible “it will never work!”

Example of a reasoned answer:

“When we go to the Lookheed site, not a single paper published, for example on the magnetic containment envisaged, which seems to be the only originality. Without revealing all the secrets, it would be normal to have access to results. the description of the technology, it is said, about neutrons produced during the tritium + deuterium fusion reaction “:” These neutrons heat the reactor wall, which can be used to drive turbine generators, as if the thing was self-evident. But 14 MeV neutrons are not content with “heat the reactor wall”, they trigger nuclear reactions that degrade the properties of the wall, to the point that a special machine must be built to study this single issue, IFMIF. This must be preceded by a preparatory machine IFMIF / EVEDA, product of a France-Japan cooperation, in progress.

The design of the magnetic field of ITER is perhaps not optimal, other geometries are studied in machines called Stellarator (in particular in Germany). But as long as Lookheed does not say anything about materials, energy recovery and generated helium, we are still far from the prospect of a reactor – if only an experimental one.

The physicists of this community have the unfortunate tendency to make journalists believe – which they gladly report – that once the behavior of plasma is controlled, we have a reactor. It’s powder in the eyes ”

And these examples of ads are regular …

09/25/2015 6:00 PM
Small-scale nuclear fusion may be a new energy source | EurekAlert! Science News –…

#FundRisingStrategy If I was an oil industry, I would not like to invest in fission because fusion will arrive soon ..

Or probably:

News> Nuclear fusion: an aneutronic reactor as an alternative to Iter?

Sweden’s Low Carbon Strategy

Translation of : La stratégie bas carbone de la Suède by Jean Fluchère

France always puts Germany forward as a model but Germany’s “Energiewende” is an obvious failure as even France Stratégie recognizes.

On the contrary, we have a remarkably successful low carbon strategy example with Sweden and its 10 million residents.

As early as 1991, Sweden embarked upon what we now call a low carbon strategy.

Between 1990 and 2013, this country, which was already one of the lowest per capita carbon dioxide emitters among OECD countries, succeeded in reducing its emissions by 22%.

France, which has committed to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 40% between 1990 and 2030 and by 75% between 1990 and 2050 must take an interest in Sweden’s energy policy.

In the first place, the stability of the electricity demand since 1987, in spite of a population increase and a wider use of electricity for heating, finds an explanation with the government’s decision, following the oil crises of the 1970-1980 decade, to launch the construction of one million dwellings with reinforced thermal insulation, which means that more than 10% of the existing housing was renewed. The approach was rational, starting with the replacement of the most energy intensive buildings and the energy saving renovation of the others.

Situating Sweden from the energy point of view, we note that it has a large hydraulic and biomass energy potential, including its wood fuel. Forests cover 54% of the country and account for 19% of the EU’s forest area. Sweden is the second largest worldwide exporter of paper, paper pulp and wood (second to Canada). Moreover, the wood industry produces multiple wastes that can be recycled into the energy sector.

Sweden has halved its oil consumption within 40 years: 16.0 Mtoe petroleum products consumed in 2011 compared to 31.3 Mtoe in 1970, before the oil crises.

It has decided to retain its nuclear power, up to a 10 GW maximum capacity.

Its population is highly urbanized, facilitating the use of thermal renewable energies in district heating networks.

Thanks to its well structured energy policy, Sweden has succeeded in having no more than 30% fossil fuels in its final energy consumption in 2013 (compared to 65% in France) and it has increased its GDP by 60 % between 1990 and 2013 while reducing its CO2 emission by 22%.

Sweden’s low carbon strategy rests on 4 fundamental pillars.

1. Carbon-free electricity generation.

The generation of electricity is based on a hydropower and nuclear power mix which ensures 85% of the production. The rest is produced from biomass for 6%, wind power for 7% and fossils for 3%, as a backup to deal with the large weather fluctuations of the country. Note that nuclear power is operated in base load mode. The fluctuations of wind power are compensated via hydropower dams.

Regarding nuclear power, in a referendum organized in 1978, Sweden had approved a nuclear power phase-out scheduled over 30 years but this decision was reversed in 2009 when it was decided to keep a nuclear power fleet limited to a 10 GW maximum capacity, with an option to increase the capacity of individual plants (which was done). The replacement of an existing plant with a more efficient plant is allowed, provided the existing plant is permanently shut down. Only as a plant reaches end of life and is permanently shut down will a new power plant be allowed to be brought into operation.

Recently, the Swedish government has decided to allow Ringhals 1 and 2, which were brought into operation in 1975 and 1976, to continue operation up to 50 years, and up to 60 years for Ringhals 3 and 4 along with Forsmark 1 to 3, under provision of an upgrade to the highest safety level.

Note that 4 of the 7 plants are boiling water reactors (BWR), the same type as the Fukushima plants but, contrary to the Fukushima plants, the upgrades applied to pressurized water reactors have been adapted to these.

Thanks to this carbon-free electricity, Sweden has been able to realize use transfers and reduce its fossil fuel consumption.

2. Considerable use transfers

Sweden has specifically targeted the replacement of fossil fuels. The Swedish industry, which still accounts for nearly 50% of the country’s GNP, relies mainly on carbon-free electricity and on thermal renewables for heat, the two representing 78% of the energy consumption in the sector.

The residential and tertiary sectors rely on thermal renewables and electricity for up to 91% of their heating needs. Oil and especially natural gas have been considerably reduced, thanks to a deep transformation of the heating systems which use standard electricity, heat pumps (the Swedes have acquired close to 100 000 heat pumps per year for a good number of years (both ground-source and air-source heat pumps)) and cogeneration with biomass-burning district heating.

This results in the Swedes being the largest electricity consumers in the EU with almost 14MWh per capita, compared to the 7MWh per capita of France. On the other hand, the fossil fuel consumption is much smaller.

3. A consistent energy policy

Above all, Sweden defined an energy efficient policy, with the construction of well insulated housing and an energy-saving upgrade of existing buildings.

The development of carbon-free technologies rests on a well adapted fiscal policy and on efficient financing measures.

The Swedish government aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% by 2020 and 100% by 2050.

It has not adopted the EU emissions trading system which, by general agreement, is not operational with a CO2 price of 7 €/tonne. But, as early as 1991, it has established a progressive taxation of the tonne of CO2 which is currently taxed at over 120 €/tonne. This tax applies primarily to private individuals so as to avoid jeopardizing the industry relative to international competition.

This carbon tax is complemented with a tax on energy, excluding electricity.

As a counterpart, the income relative to these taxes enables cost deductions for companies and to support energy saving with grants at the national and local scale.

4. Transportation

The transportation sector remains the largest GHG emitter in Sweden (it is number 2 in France). It absorbs nearly 80% of the final consumption of petroleum products.

The Swedish Energy Agency now considers low carbon transportation its priority research field. Henceforth, success in reaching the 100% CO2 emissions reduction in 2050 depends on this sector.

The Norwegian neighbor’s example, with highly developed electric powered mobility, will very probably be taken on in Sweden.


Let us not pick the wrong model. Germany’s energy transition is a failure.

Whereas Sweden’s energy transition is a remarkable success.

Book : Underexposed ! – And if the radiation was good for you ?

In english.

“The synthesis in French of the book Under-Exposed of American Ed Hiserodt proposed by Michel Gay is at least a provocative book, and as such, disturbing. The impression is mixed: while being convincing on the merits, the author sins with some excesses that could discredit him and return back to back with those he denounces and criticizes.

And yet, let’s take the risk of getting behind him. What is this theory that he denounces, what is the message he asserts? It attacks this relentlessness, based on a complex historical construction, to perpetuate a “non-scientific theory”, the “linear relationship without threshold” (RLSS), which extrapolates to low doses of irradiation the deleterious effects noted in higher doses in terms of radiation-induced carcinogenesis … However, if the RLSS was invented for the purposes of radiation protection, allowing the establishment of a very “precautious” protection (which is already questionable in terms of profit / risk), it is absolutely irrational from a scientific point of view, because it is not supported by anything and leads to nonsense, as the calculation of the number of victims of low doses … that we never see!

Unfortunately, its dogmatic character and validated by the “Authority” with a large A (we must rather say the Authorities), feeds fears related to radiophobia, and the psychological and societal consequences are numerous and not harmless. However, for low doses (in practice, less than 100 mSv whole body, which for the novice reader can be translated as “below forty times the irradiation received in a year”), the best epidemiological studies have not never been able to highlight the over-incidence of cancers or leukemias due to radiation, and modern radiobiology brings more and more arguments, scientific this time, to demonstrate the harmlessness, even under certain circumstances, the protective effect1 of low doses. of radiation – starting with radiation of natural origin, which is rather reassuring! It is therefore necessary to at least criticize, and perhaps denounce, the unfounded excesses that lead to high and unjustified expenses, irrational choices and the maintenance of fears that have no place to be, based solely on this misunderstanding. the RLSS.

This is what Michel Gay denounces, and he does it loud and clear, a little in the hussar and with a Rabelaisian side that is not unpleasant, but, some would say, excessive … Yes, but it is to fight against such a societal and ideological force of denigration and misinformation affecting crucial areas such as health, energy policy, that we must forgive this excess, in the name of David against Goliath.

Excessive, it is even more so, when he takes the banner of hormesis, to extol the beneficial effects of low-dose radiation. Which is not so extravagant, let’s repeat it. Very serious studies are quickly accumulating2 that go in this direction, and it is also logical that our organisms have always been exposed to radiation of natural origin (cosmic, telluric, foodborne and even indoors). of our own cells) have adapted to it; a selective advantage could even be linked to this phenomenon by maintaining active cells in the mechanisms of elimination of free radicals of all origins (starting with aerobic respiration using dioxygen). From there to claim our dose of daily rays, otherwise we would be in danger, there is a big step that Michel Gay probably passes with too much joy. Especially in his passion, he is carried away to the point of making small mistakes of little importance, as when he speaks of the surgical treatment of malignant lymphoma, for example (we do not operate this disease). But that does not put his argument back on the merits.


And so, in conclusion, a militant book, partisan, which targets just but more in the manner of songwriters and cartoonists with a scientific approach. It deserves to be read to hear the militant and denunciatory speech, it deserves to be criticized for its excessive and polemical sides, so read it but do not take it for cash, it should be read with caution, spirit criticism, and put it on the record of the delicate question of low doses of irradiation. Like any pavement thrown into a pond, it splashes. But, overall and in the end, once the excesses are rejected, its main message is a good message: we must finish with the RLSS.”

To know more :

Radioactivity: Are you ALARA or ALAIN (As Low As In Nature) ?

Automatic translation

If the ALAIN principle were adopted, humanity could do without fossil fuels more cheaply and without compromising its security.

By Bruno Comby and Michel Gay.

While in France, coal and gas have been almost entirely abandoned in favor of nuclear power, the United States continues to burn huge quantities for their electricity production, which “is not good for the planet “.

As the most powerful international player, the United States should promote the development of nuclear power in the world to avoid burning fossil fuels. The latter would be more useful elsewhere, for example in the production of steel, fertilizers, plastics, or drugs.

What the IPRC should do
To do this, the International Committee for Radiological Protection (ICRP) should be asked to:

1) to remove the ill-founded and unscientific assumption of the so-called Linear No-Threshold (LLSS) rule, also known as Linear No Treshold (LNT),

2) recognize the beneficial effects on health of low doses of radioactivity (hormesis effect), which benefit the spa guests in most spas,

3) modify the current principle of radiation protection ALARA (“As Low As Reasonnably Achievable” radiation standard as low as reasonably possible) in order to transform it into ALAIN (“As Low As In Nature”, radiation as low as in nature), because the earth is naturally radioactive.

This ALAIN principle is theoretically essential for laying the foundation for radiation protection in the future. It was first articulated and defined in 1994 by Bruno Comby in his book Un ecologiste pour le nucléaire (Editions La Compagnie du Livre, 1995).

The ALARA principle

The principle ALARA leads to a cost as high as possible to make the nuclear unacceptable (consequence of the increase of the expensive protection rules to respect the reduction of the authorized doses). Radiation protection based on this principle hinders the development of nuclear power, and in some cases eliminates it, making progressively uncompetitive the cleanest of all energies.

If the ALAIN principle were adopted, humanity could do without fossil fuels more cheaply and without compromising its security.

The United States should understand that working with Europe to do without fossil fuels through nuclear energy, the only viable and affordable alternative, is important for global security and the survival of our democracies.

They should actively help the world revive nuclear energy by supporting the development of the new generation of GEN III reactors, and by opening the way to the fourth generation (GEN IV) with ‘regenerative’ reactors, or even ‘ breeder reactors “, with uranium, then with thorium.

A geopolitical choice

If the United States does not do this work in cooperation with Western Europe, the two continents will lose their global supremacy in this area. And it will probably be China and Russia, and perhaps even India, which after 2030 will be masters of global nuclear power generation.

Abandoning the ALARA principle and turning to ALAIN would be a healthy first step to start massively replacing fossil fuels with nuclear power.

The ALAIN principle better protects the health of the public than the ALARA concept because it applies to both natural and medical and artificial radioactivity. The ALAIN principle encompasses them, while the ALARA principle applies only to artificial radioactivity (industrial, and sometimes medical, but separately) by tolerating other sources of radioactivity. “ALARA” neglects the much higher natural radioactivity, which has potentially much more health effects (negative, null, or positive).

All sources of exposure to radioactivity

Natural radioactivity accounts for 90-99% of the doses to which most nuclear workers are exposed and 99.9% of the doses to which the public is exposed.

Taking into account (with ALAIN) ALL sources of exposure to radioactivity is necessary to better protect the health of exposed people, be they the public or the nuclear workers. And, conversely, if necessary, to enable them to benefit from the protective and beneficial effects of hormesis.

This is why the recent ALAIN principle aims to replace the old ALARA concept, partial, ill-founded, insufficient, and defined in the 1970s. But badly founded scientific dogmas (like ALARA) are sometimes long to evolve towards more open, more modern principles, better reflecting scientific reality (such as ALAIN). The logic will certainly end up making its way (see the story of Galileo, or the principle of universal attraction of Newton).

Beyond the future of the nuclear industry, it is public health and the health of nuclear workers that is at stake. It is therefore essential to broaden the basics of radiation protection to ALL radioactivity.

Setting strict standards, as is currently the case, on only 0.1 to 10% of industrial radioactivity and neglecting the remaining 90 to 99.9% of natural radioactivity is absurd and insufficient.

Moreover, the extremism that results from the very definition of ALARA (with no acceptable threshold, thus tending to zero for artificial radioactivity) leads not only to a growing regulatory pressure mortal for the industry, but also to a scientific stalemate by refusing to take into account the hormesis effect. The latter is compatible with the ALAIN principle.

So, are you ALARA (“As Low as Reasonably Achievable”), or ALAIN (“As Low As in Nature”)?