France to build up to 14 new nuclear reactors by 2050

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his desire to develop nuclear energy and renewable energies in order to produce “more decarbonised electricity”. [Shutterstock]

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his desire to develop nuclear energy and renewable energies to produce “more decarbonised electricity” and announced the construction of six new nuclear reactors.

In front of workers at General Electric Steam Power in Belfort, the French president said that the gradual withdrawal of fossil fuels would lead to a demand for electricity up to 60% higher than currently.

Thus, decarbonised energy production requires a “plural strategy” based on “two pillars”, renewable energies and nuclear power. Criticising all-nuclear and all-renewable, Macron defends the idea of creating around fifty offshore wind farms (by 2050), accompanied by the construction of “six new nuclear reactors”, with the first one planned to come on stream in 2035.

These positions are not a surprise but what has changed is Macron’s vision is the lifespan of reactors. The president said that no closure of a nuclear reactor “in a state of production” should occur in the future, in fact extending their activity even “beyond 50 years” if necessary and the Nuclear Safety Authority does not object.

In terms of investment in the field, President Macron announced that €1 billion would be put on the table as part of the France 2030 plan to promote the emergence of “small modular reactors” to improve the performance of nuclear power, particularly in terms of waste.

These announcements come in the context of the French presidential election, in which Macron is still not officially a candidate. Green candidate Yannick Jadot condemned the position expressed by the outgoing president, which he said: “condemns France to a century of nuclear power”.

(Davide Basso, EURACTIV.fr)

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe