14.06.2018_No117 / News in Brief

Nuclear Body Sounds Warning On Premature Shutdowns In France And Calls For ‘Renewal’ Of Nuclear Fleet

Comment & People

14 Jun (NucNet): The premature shutdown of nuclear power units in France would jeopardise the country’s energy security and hamper efforts to reduce carbon emissions, Valérie Faudon, head of the French Nuclear Energy Society (SFEN), told NucNet.

According to Ms Faudon, shutting down nuclear plants before the end of their planned operating lifetimes would lead to more costs for the integration of renewables to the grid and, as a result, higher electricity prices for consumers.

Ms Faudon said there are “huge advantages” to keeping the existing nuclear fleet in operation until potential new-build projects come online.

Instead of looking at phaseouts, she urged French policy makers and the country’s nuclear industry to start thinking about the renewal of the French nuclear fleet. “They need to start now because it will take time. We cannot replace the fleet at once, all at the same time”, she said.

If France – which has the world’s highest share of nuclear in its electricity mix – built 14 new EPR units it could cut costs and reduce construction times by up to 30%, benefitting from savings that can be made from building a series of identical or similar plants, Ms Faudon said.

In 2015, the government of former president François Hollande established an energy transition law which set a target of reducing the share of nuclear in the electricity mix to 50% by 2025 from the current 75%. But the new environment minister Nicolas Hulot said in November 2017 this would not be realistic and suggested the deadline to be pushed back to 2035.

The full story is online for NucNet subscribers: http://bit.ly/2t8F4vg

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • France’s Emissions Figures Show Need For Nuclear, Says SFEN (News in Brief No.107, 31 May 2018)

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NucNet

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Kamen Kraev

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