Nuclear Politics

France / National Assembly Votes To Abolish Plans To Reduce Nuclear Share

By David Dalton
16 March 2023

Move is part of president Macron’s bid to revive reactor industry
National Assembly Votes To Abolish Plans To Reduce Nuclear Share
The government is pushing hard for nuclear to be a major part of France’s energy future. Courtesy @AgnesRunacher.
France’s lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, has approved plans that call for the revision of 2015 legislation that would have reduced the share of nuclear energy in the French electricity mix from about 70% today to 50% by 2035, paving the way for president Emmanuel Macron’s government to revive the nuclear sector and build new reactors.

The assembly, by 97 votes to 26, approved an article that would revise a 2015 law introduced under the presidency of Francois Hollande to reduce the share of nuclear power.

The revised article is expected to form part of key energy proposals expected to be finalised this summer, Le Figaro reported.

Minister for energy transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher was reported as saying she wants “neither a ceiling nor floor” on the amount of nuclear in the mix. She said nuclear’s share is about 70% – the highest in the world – but was 63% in 2022 due to the shutdowns of several reactors because of problems with piping corrosion.

Macron has pledged to modernise and expand the country’s nuclear industry in a policy U-turn, reversing his predecessor’s commitment to cap the share of nuclear power fuelling France at 50%.

Macron has proposed the construction of six new French-designed EPR2 reactors, designed to enter service starting in 2035, with an option for a further eight reactors to follow.

The government wants to streamline the administrative and bureaucratic processes needed to approve and build new plants.

The UK and France recently signed an agreement to increase nuclear cooperation, including on new nuclear construction projects and reducing reliance on civil nuclear goods from Russia.

The agreement also established a working group on nuclear innovation and safety as both countries seek to deploy large-scale and small modular reactors to achieve greater energy security by moving away from fossil fuels.

Pen Use this content