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Comment Re:A good reason to replace old reactors (Score 1) 140

So why does this never, ever happen?

It doesn't?

The last PWR built in the UK was Sizewell B. What do you think Sizewell A was?

The two EPRs planned are Hinkley point C. What do you think Hinkley point A and B were?

The EPR being build in France is Flamanvile 3. What do you think Flamanville 1 and 2 are?

Comment Re:If you really want to see how bad it was... (Score 1) 140

In contrast, just about every other reactor design has a built-in negative feedback mechanism of some kind. That is, while you can actively screw up the reactor -- slam the control rods full open and override the automatic emergency shutdown system for example -- and cause a problem, you can also more or less just walk away from the controls and the reactor will slowly shut down by itself after some hours or days with zero chance of a meltdown.

As Fukushima shows that happens not to be true.

Most currently running designs will shut down, but if the cooling is turned off most of them will still melt down due to decay heat.

Now, without massive destruction of surrounding infrastructure (like an enormous earthquake and tsunami) and near-total incompetence by the operator that is not likely to happen. But, as Fukishima shows, it can happen.

Comment Re:Impressive (Score 1) 106

No, the problem is not enforcing competition after privatisation.

Here in France the PTT (minstry of posts, telephone and telecommunications) used to have a monopoly. When they were part privatized as France Telecom a competition authority was setup who insisted that the new France Telecom allowed competing companies to have access the the existing network (that had been funded by the state).

As a result we now have multiple ISP's in almost all locations, providing multiple competing broadband solutions (ASDL, FTTH, Cable...) for prices of around 20-30 EUR/month.

Capitalism -- it works, as long as government is prepared to stand behind the capitalists with a big enough stick.

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