Thursday, September 29

France leads the green bet with nuclear reactors

Correspondent in Paris



Emmanuel Macron announced last November that France will build six new EPRs (Evolved Power Reactors), after confirming that nuclear energy is the greenest and greenest energy and it allows to guarantee 72% of the national electricity consumption. This energy model consolidates France as the third world atomic power and the second world producer of electricity of nuclear origin.

«For the first time in decades, France will build new nuclear reactors, at the same time that we will continue to develop renewable energies “, announced the French president, while adding:” Nuclear energy is the cleanest, greenest, most ecological energy. ” The president also pledged that with a significant investment in the construction of new generation nuclear reactors, France will be able to live up to its international ecological commitments made in Glasgow at COP26.

Macron then limited himself to giving his institutional support for the renewal process of the nuclear power plants and reactors park, under study for several years.

France today has eighteen nuclear power plants and fifty-six atomic reactors. It is a national energy park that has several decades of history and is in need of renovation. Four years ago, the Minister of Ecological Transition, Nicolas Hulot (historical ecologist), and Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy (Conservative), They prepared the matrix of the plan that Macron intends to launch with 47.2 billion euros of state investments.

It is a national project, approved by the second national political force, the Republican party (LR, historical right), which shares the same basic analysis with Macron: nuclear energy is the greenest and most ecological, ensuring France a vanguard position in our civilization, as an industrial power and a military power, with nuclear submarines deployed in the Atlantic and the Pacific.

The decision to accelerate the construction of new nuclear reactors, cleaner, more efficient, greener, ecological and cheaper is due to many different reasons.

The national atomic park is getting old. Several studies confirm the need to close, reform or “overhaul” almost a quarter of the reactors in service. This Christmas, fifteen of the fifty-six nuclear reactors were closed or temporarily stopped for maintenance work.

The economic tensions in the European electricity market, which are very burdensome for consumers, make it advisable to quickly undertake the construction of new reactors, speeding up the start-up of the projects that have been studied for years.

France must accelerate its technological renovation, to continue occupying ranked second in the world among nuclear power producers, behind the US. and ahead of China. EDF, a public company, is in charge of the French nuclear subsidiary, in which more than 2,500 small, medium and large companies participate, employing more than 220,000 employees.

When Emmanuel Macron insists on the ecological and green dimension of atomic energy, he does not forget European ambitions either. As rotating president of the European Union (EU), France will support several important ecological chapters over the next six months, but, at the same time, it will also defend Europe’s continental sovereignty: in this field, atomic energy is a major strategic asset.

Faced with these great national and European challenges, French public opinion is essentially very united to Macron’s plans, confirming very solid social support: 52% of the French are perfectly aware that nuclear energy is the primary source of electricity for national consumption, while another 62% consider it important for national security.

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