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08.02.2019_No28 / News in Brief

Macron Says France To Decide On New EPRs Around 2022

Policies & Politics

8 Feb (NucNet): French President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday the country will decide around 2022 whether state-owned utility EDF will be allowed to build new nuclear reactors.

Because of delays and budget overruns at EDF’s Flamanville-3 EPR under construction in northern France, Mr Macron’s government has not yet committed to building new reactors once old reactors are shut down.

“We will decide around 2022 about what France does with the new generation of EPRs, depending on the outcome of studies and any progress made,” Mr Macron said during a debate with young people in the Saone-et-Loire region.

In November, Mr Macron said France would reduce the share of nuclear in the power mix to 50% by 2035, down from around 70% today, and said that a decision on whether to build new nuclear plants would be taken mid-2021.

He said the EPR must be part of a package of technological options for tomorrow and France must maintain an industrial capacity to build new reactors.

Mr Macron said France needed its EPR technology “for sovereignty issues” and said the government and state-controlled utility EDF will work together on “the issues of industrial capacity” of the [nuclear] sector and “the economic optimisation of a new reactor model”.

The country’s energy plan, published in January, calls for four to six nuclear reactors – including two at the Fessenheim nuclear station – to be permanently shut down by 2023 and a cap to be placed on nuclear generation capacity of 63.2 GW, roughly where it is today.

The plan says 14 reactors should be shut down by 2035, but adds that decisions will be based on “the evolution of electricity consumption and exports, the development of renewable energies, the findings of the [nuclear regulator] ASN and the priority of ensuring security of supply”.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers): France’s President Macron Unveils Plans For Cautious Reduction Of Nuclear Share (News in Brief No.236, 28 November 2018)

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NucNet

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David Dalton

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