When announcing new reactors, Macron puts nuclear power at the center of carbon neutral efforts

French President Emmanuel Macron said, Thursday, that France will build at least six new nuclear reactors in the coming decades, putting nuclear energy at the center of his country’s campaign to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Macron said the new plants would be built and operated by the state-controlled energy provider EDF and that tens of billions of euros would be mobilized from public funding to fund projects and protect EDF’s financial resources.

Promising to accelerate the development of solar and offshore wind energy in France, Macronalso announced that he wants to extend the life of old nuclear plants to 50 years from the current 40, provided they are safe.

“We are fortunate in France to be able to count on a strong nuclear industry, rich in knowledge and with hundreds of thousands of jobs,” said Macronsid, who unveiled his new nuclear strategy in the eastern industrial city of Belfort.

The announcement comes at a difficult time for debt-laden EDF, which is grappling with corrosion problems that have forced many old nuclear reactors to run for extended periods and with having to convince foreign buyers that it can deliver projects on time and on budget.

Macron’s nuclear blueprint underpins his commitment to nuclear power, a mainstay of France’s post-war industrial prowess, but its future was uncertain early on in his tenure as he promised to reduce the weight of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix.

Macron’s thinking has been shaped by the European Union’s ambitious goals for carbon neutrality within three decades, which have again focused on forms of energy that emit fewer greenhouse gases or emit fewer greenhouse gases than fossil fuels, including nuclear power.

The first new generation EPR reactor will be operational by 2035, Macron is happy. He added that studies will be launched for eight other reactors after the six new initial stations.

Macron said that the state will assume its responsibilities in securing EDF funding and its financing capacity in the short and medium term.

“We will not let the EDF down,” Macron said.


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