From: Jerry Cuttler [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Food for thought ...
<SNIP> Stephane Lhomme from the anti-nuclear group Sortir du nucléaire ('Get rid of nuclear power') told IPS that .... Superphénix never generated a watt of power.
As a matter of fact, Superphénix generated 1,250 million watts of power (1,250 MWe).
Being a prototype power plant, it experienced some technical problems in its initial years.
Construction of Superphénix started in december 1974.
It operated at full power for the first time on December 9, 1986.
Major modifications were performed prior to 1994, during a four-year shutdown (see Nuclear Eng. Int., July 1994).
The modifications were carried out in about half that time, but regulatory stalling prolonged the shutdown period.
Before the shutdown, the plant produced 4.6 billion kWh during 7,400 hours of operation at different power regimes.
Following resolution of all the bugs, Superphénix operated at 90% of its capacity - its maximum authorized power level (see Revue Générale Nucléaire, Mai-Jun 1997).
In 1996 Superphénix demonstrated reliable operation, by operating with a 95% capacity factor for 10 months, producing 3.5 billion kWh.
The plant's license was cancelled on "procedural grounds" in February 1997.
On June 19, 1997, the new Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, announced in his general policy statement at the parliament that operations at the Superphénix breeder reactor would be discontinued.
On Feburary 2 1998 the French government ordered the permanent shutdown of the Superphénix reactor.
This was a strictly political decision, stemming from an election deal of the Socialist minority government with the French Greens.
Stephane Lhomme's antinuke disinformation is not surprising.
What is surprising is that after the Superphénix political fiasco, the ITER organisation decided to build their project in France.
Who knows, maybe the Sortir du nucléaire environistas will teach them a lesson :-)