Nuclear energy plays an important role in France, generating 75% of its electricity, and ongoing troubles at the country’s new Flamanville “third generation” reactor have raised crucial questions about its role in the future electricity mix and methods for managing the associated radioactive materials and waste. Construction started in 2007, with the final cost estimated at 3.3 billion euros. On October 9 the plant’s operator, EDF, annonced new delays, with costs now estimated at 12.4 billion euros and the opening pushed back to 2022 – a decade later than initially scheduled. France currently operates 58 pressurized water reactors (PWR), referred to as “second generation”. Nineteen of these reactors were put into operation before 1981 and will reach their design service life of 40 years over the next three years. The future of the nuclear industry represents a crucial question, which will likely have a lasting effect on all industry stakeholders – electricity producers, distribution system operators, energy providers and consumers. This means that all French citizens will be affected. Investment decisions regarding the electricity sector can establish commitments for the country that will last tens or even hundreds of years, and this future clearly remains uncertain. Against this backdrop, forward-looking approaches can help plan for the future and identify, even partially, the possible consequences of the choices we make today. Such an approach involves first identifying then analyzing the different possible paths for the future in order to asses them and possibly rank them.
The Conversation 27th Oct 2019 read more »
The French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, ask the nuclear energy to be included in the European “eco-label” for financial products, currently being discussed in Brussels, at a conference in Paris on Friday. “The ambition we must set ourselves at European level is to have an eco-label for financial products to be introduced as early as 2020,” the minister said at the opening of the conference for the replenishment of the Green Fund, the financial arm of the Paris Climate Agreement. “France will argue for nuclear energy to be part of this eco-label,” said Le Maire, referring to the current discussion in Brussels on the “taxonomy of green investments” which could lead to the creation of such an “eco-label” for financial products. He rejected criticism from some countries and in particular from Germany concerning the integration of nuclear energy into this label, calling them “ideological” and claiming to be based on “scientific” criteria. “We cannot succeed in the ecological transition and we cannot achieve our goal in terms of combating global warming without nuclear energy,” the minister said.
Connaissance des Energies 25th Oct 2019 read more »