Monday, December 6

France will relaunch the construction of nuclear reactors “for the first time in decades”


Emmanuel Macron, President of France, made a media appearance yesterday and announced something surprising. The country will rebuild new nuclear power plants decades after quitting.

According to the French president, the project aims to “guarantee the energy independence of France […], supplying our country’s electricity and achieving our goals, particularly carbon neutrality by 2050. “

The nuclear energy debate reopens

The French head of state had already indicated in mid-October that 1,000 million euros would be invested in small nuclear reactors SMR (Advanced Small Modular Reactors), but this decision significantly broadens that goal.

The reason, he explained, is that “if we want to pay for our energy at reasonable prices, we have to continue saving energy and investing in low carbon energy production in our territory “.

Most of the current nuclear reactors in France were built from the mid-70s and early 90s. Now the country has 56 of themBut many of them are getting old and reaching 40 years of age. In fact, in the next 20 years, most of these plants should stop operating after completing their life cycle.

France gets most of its electricity of nuclear energy, and according to Macron “these investments will allow us to fulfill our commitments by the time COP26 closes in Glasgow”. The announcement follows the guidelines of the RTE power grid operator report, published two weeks earlier, which recommended the construction of EPR-type reactors (in the header image, European Pressurized Reactor) to guarantee the country’s energy transition.

These third generation pressurized water reactors They have been designed by companies in France and Germany, but except for that detail, the announcement has been vague in other respects. No construction start dates have been given nor has the number of reactors specified.

Even so, since 2019 there has been talk of a hypothesis according to which France would build six new third-generation reactors and very high power, known as EPR 2.

France’s decision once again highlights the debate on nuclear energy. Germany was the great defender of preventing this energy source from receiving fiscal support as if it were one more renewable, and Spain joined that proposal. For others the question is clear and “humanity he no longer has the luxury to oppose nuclear energy, “a view emphasized by the current energy crisis.

Via | Reuters



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