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Macron goes for a new nuclear renaissance, despite the industry’s woes in France

France to build up to 14 new nuclear reactors by 2050, says Macron. French president says ‘renaissance’ of atomic energy industry will help end country’s reliance on fossil fuels, Guardian,  Angelique Chrisafis in Paris 11 Feb 22, Emmanuel Macron has announced a “renaissance” for the French nuclear industry with a vast programme to build as many as 14 new reactors, arguing that it would help end the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and make France carbon neutral by 2050.

“What our country needs … is the rebirth of France’s nuclear industry,” Macron said in a speech in the eastern industrial town of Belfort, in which he lauded the country’s technological prowess.

The centrist French president, who is expected to announce his campaign for re-election this month, is conscious of a growing debate about energy ahead of this spring’s presidential vote as costs to consumers rise. Environmental issues are also a growing concern among French voters.

….. recent attempts to build new-generation reactors to replace older models have become mired in cost overruns and delays.

Presidential candidates on the right have supported more nuclear power plants saying France should have “sovereignty” over its electricity, while detractors on the left have warned of the cost and complexity of building new reactors. Environmentalists have raised safety concerns over radioactive waste that remains deadly for tens of thousands of years.

……… He also announced a major acceleration in the development of solar and offshore wind power. He said France had no choice but to rely on renewables and nuclearand that the country would also have to consume significantly less energy in the next decades.

He said he would seek to extend the lives of all existing French nuclear plants where it was safe to do so.

The announcement comes at a difficult time for debt-laden, state-controlled energy provider, EDF, which faces delays and budget overuns on new nuclear plants in France and Britain, and corrosion problems in some of its ageing reactors.

Macron announced the construction of at least six new reactors by EDF by 2050, with an option for another eight.

His recent focus on nuclear power marks a policy shift from the start of his presidency, when he had promised to reduce its share in France’s energy mix.

The French government lobbied hard and successfully to get the European Commission to label nuclear power “green” this month in a landmark review which means it can attract funding as a climate-friendly power source.

The Green presidential candidate, Yannick Jadot, said it was a moral imperative to progressively end France’s dependence on nuclear to protect the climate and French people’s safety. He said Macron’s project was backward-looking and would condemn France to a kind of “energy and industrial obsolescence”.

February 12, 2022 - Posted by | France, politics

1 Comment »

  1. […] Macron goes for a new nuclear renaissance, despite the industry’s woes in France — nuclear-news […]

    Pingback by Macron goes for a new nuclear renaissance, despite the industry’s woes in France — Novelkingdom1 – nuclear-news – novelkingdom1 | February 12, 2022 | Reply

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