French President Emmanuel Macron has announced plans to relaunch the country’s commercial nuclear programme with the construction of at least six new nuclear power reactors and the possibility of eight more.
Emmanuel Macron said the new plants would be built and operated by state-controlled energy company EDF with a budget of tens of billions of euros in public financing to finance the projects.
“What our country needs, and the conditions are there, is the rebirth of France’s nuclear industry,” Macron said, unveiling his new nuclear strategy in the eastern industrial town of Belfort.
He also announced he wanted to extend the lifespan of older nuclear plants to 50 years or more from 40 years currently, provided it was safe.
France will build six new nuclear reactors by 2035, with the possibility of eight more units later on
The first new reactor, an evolution of the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) known as the EPR2, would come online by 2035, Macron said, and added that there would be studies launched for a further eight reactors.
“To guarantee France’s energy independence and achieve our objectives, in particular carbon neutrality in 2050, we will for the first time in decades relaunch the construction of nuclear reactors in our country,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in November.
In the address, Macron said France would build new nuclear power reactors to help the country lessen its dependence on foreign countries for its energy supplies, meet global warming targets and keep prices under control.
President Macron said that France will build new nuclear power reactors to help the country lessen its independence on foreign countries for its energy supplies, meet global warming targets and keep prices under control
This will guarantee France’s energy independence, guarantee its electricity supply and help France achieve key objectives including carbon neutrality in 2050, Macron said. “If we want to pay reasonable rates for our energy, we must continue to save energy and invest in the production of carbon-free energy on our soil.”
This is an effort that will be combined with renewable energies. France will also increase its solar power capacity tenfold by 2050 to more than 100 GW, and target building 50 offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of at least 40 GW.
Nuclear will be combined with renewable energies with over 100 GW windpower and, at least, 40 GW offshore wind farms by 2050
“We will for the first time in decades restart the construction of nuclear reactors in our country and continue to develop renewable energy,” he said. This will guarantee France’s energy independence, guarantee its electricity supply and help France achieve key objectives including carbon neutrality in 2050.
France has 56 commercial nuclear power reactors that provide about 70% of its electricity, the highest share of any country.
In October 2021, Macron announced that by 2030 France must be a leader in carbon-free power production with one small modular reactor in operation and nuclear plants used to produce clean hydrogen through electrolysis.
He said Europe will never have enough renewable energy capacity to produce sufficient green hydrogen and that France’s nuclear plants are a major asset for doing this.