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France wants to build eight more nuclear power plants

France relies on nuclear energy. The construction of 14 new nuclear power plants is planned. This is intended to reduce CO2 emissions.

France wants to build eight more nuclear power plants in the coming years in addition to the six nuclear power plants already planned. That is far more than was previously planned.

The eight additional nuclear power plants have so far been discussed by the government as an “option,” Energy Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher told the newspaper “Tribune Dimanche” on Sunday. In total, the construction of 14 reactors is under discussion.

In contrast to its neighboring country Germany, France is relying heavily on nuclear energy to replace coal-fired power plants and reduce CO2 emissions. France wants to reduce the share of fossil fuels in energy consumption from currently more than 60 percent to 40 percent in 2035.

According to the Energy Minister, this goal requires the construction of additional power plants with an output of 13 gigawatts from 2026. This corresponds to “the output of eight” EPR reactors, explained Pannier-Runacher and argued: “The historic nuclear fleet will not last forever.”

More safety thanks to the new model

The EPR reactor model developed by France was intended to revive nuclear power after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and offer more power with greater safety. Three reactors are in operation, one in Finland and two in China. However, there were not only problems with the construction in Finland – there are also delays and cost explosions in EPR projects in France and Great Britain.

According to the French state energy company EDF, the first EPR reactor in France is scheduled to go online for testing purposes in Flamanville in Normandy in mid-2024 – 17 years after construction began and at a cost of 12.7 billion euros, four times as much as originally planned .

Under the planned reform of the European electricity market, state subsidies for nuclear power plants will continue to be permitted in the EU. (sda/nas)


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