For all those who suggest that nuclear power is the only solution to climate change, there’s a little spanner in the works – nukes don’t deal with the heat…

The Times of London is reporting that:

France is being forced to import electricity from Britain to cope with a summer heatwave that has helped to put a third of its nuclear power stations out of action.

As temperatures in France head up over 30C (not hot for us, sure, but it is for them!), the cooling water gets too hot and the plants need to be ramped way down or even shut down to avoid breaching safe operational temperatures. Coinciding with increased demand for electricity in hotter weather, this ain’t good news for the world’s only power sector heavily reliant on nukes.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial and get Crikey straight to your inbox

By submitting this form you are agreeing to Crikey's Terms and Conditions.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. But, as Paris sizzles in the summer more frequently, it is happening more often. And the trend is only due to increase.

On the other hand, some forms of renewables do well in a climate changing world. Solar thermal obviously will be helped by greater heat, and wind and ocean power will benefit from greater turbulence in both systems. Geothermal won’t be impacted at all. Only bioenergy, the least attractive renewable source to many anyway, stands to be negatively impacted by climate scenarios.

This is, of course, only one more reason on top of several others why nuclear is no solution. The massive cost blowouts in every nuclear development for decades is one, the very long lead times is another, and the intractable waste issue – linked to nuclear weapons proliferation – is the most critical. But heat shutting down existing plant is a killer from a base PR point of view 😉

As they say, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.