The return of the atom.
The government is "accelerating": the bill aimed at launching new nuclear reactors as quickly as possible has been unveiled, with the desire to lay a first stone before the end of Emmanuel Macron's five-year term.
France, like the rest of Europe, knows that its electricity needs will explode by 2050 to do without fossil fuels, and the French president wants to build six new generation EPR nuclear reactors, with an option for eight others, while accelerating the deployment of renewable energies, with priority given to solar and offshore wind turbines.
No commissioning before 2035 at best
The new bill “will make it possible to accelerate the installation of new reactors, in already existing sites, already hosting reactors, explained the Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, on Europe 1 on Tuesday.
It is a common sense measure to save time”.
The objective is to lay the first stone of the future new generation EPR2 reactor before the end of the five-year term in 2027, even if commissioning cannot take place before 2035 or even 2037.
The government justifies this acceleration by the climate emergency and the need to produce 60% more electricity in 2050 compared to today.
As for solar and wind power, treated in a separate text and presented on Monday, the government wants to simplify administrative procedures.
The law would, for example, exempt projects from planning permission because the compliance check will be carried out by the State services when the creation application is submitted.
The text authorizes reactors in areas covered by the Coastal Act, with certain exemptions for projects in continuity with existing nuclear sites.
The projects will respond to “an imperative reason of major public interest, allowing them to benefit from one of the conditions for granting exemptions relating to protected species”, also stipulates the text.
And work on buildings not intended to receive radioactive substances, but also the foundations, can be carried out before the closure of the public inquiry.
Finally, the handling of disputes would be handled in the first and last resort by the Council of State, for “rapid legal security”.
The sites targeted, on or near existing power plants, would first concern Penly (Seine-Maritime) then Gravelines (North).
“We can say to ourselves that we can go faster on the administrative investigation phases, because we are not going to endanger nature on already existing sites”, justified Agnès Pannier-Runacher.
Green hydrogen produced offshore with seawater is possible
Saint-Nazaire: Emmanuel Macron inaugurates this Thursday the first offshore wind site in France