• Emmanuel Macron presents next Tuesday “France 2030”, an investment plan of several tens of billions of euros directed towards “ten sectors of the future”.

  • The Head of State should support on this occasion the financing of small nuclear reactors - SMRs ("Small Modular Reactors") - to support existing plants.

  • While the energy issue is essential at the start of the presidential campaign, the outgoing president will have to position himself on the place of the atom in the electricity mix.

After the declaration, the proofs of love for nuclear power?

Emmanuel Macron presents next Tuesday at the Elysee "France 2030", an investment plan of several tens of billions of euros directed towards "ten sectors of the future".

According to Europe 1, the Head of State should support on this occasion the financing of small nuclear reactors - SMRs ("Small Modular Reactors") - to support existing plants.

In a context of soaring gas and electricity prices, energy sovereignty was invited to the start of the presidential campaign, forcing the candidates to position themselves on the place of the atom in the electricity mix.

Six months before the presidential election, will Emmanuel Macron campaign for nuclear power?

Since 2017, Emmanuel Macron has been blurring the lines

Since the start of the five-year term, the president has spared the goat and the cabbage in this area. In November 2018, he confirmed the closure for 2020 of the two reactors at the Fessenheim plant, repeating the promise made by his predecessor, François Hollande, to environmentalists. The government then defends "a key step in the commitment made by France to reduce to 50% [against 70% today] the share of nuclear power in energy production", providing for the closure of 12 other reactors in the region. 'horizon 2035. The objective: to develop renewable energies, by multiplying "by two the share of wind power and by five the share of photovoltaics in the next ten years".

But in December 2020, in Le Creusot, the President of the Republic declared his love for the atom, "a pillar of our energy mix in the years to come".

But on the construction of six new nuclear reactors, Emmanuel Macron prefers to delay.

The decision will be taken, he said that day, "at the latest in 2023, when Flamanville will come into service".

A sign of hesitation?

“Macron has two strategic choices for the campaign.

Either he announces the construction of the EPRs and cuts the grass under the feet of the right-wing candidates.

Either he continues his green game, to try to recover Jadot ”, analyzes Julien Aubert, pro-nuclear LR deputy from Vaucluse.

Pressure from the right and from the RN

Because to the right of Macronie, from Xavier Bertrand to Valérie Pécresse, from Eric Zemmour to Marine Le Pen, all are campaigning on the atom. Under pressure, the executive therefore accelerated its schedule. The Minister for Industry Agnès Pannier-Runacher finally announced on October 1 that the construction of the six new EPRs could be launched before 2023. A change of footing for the Head of State?

"There is no ambiguity on the position of Emmanuel Macron", assures Jean-Charles Colas-Roy, LREM deputy of Isère and referent for the ecological transition.

“It is not because we want to develop renewable energies that we cannot invest in nuclear power, which is an opportunity for France.

We must maintain our historic park and develop new technologies, to be ready by 2030-40 ”, underlines the elected official, who recalls that the post-Covid-19 recovery plan already provides for an envelope of 470 million. euros for nuclear.

The ecologists grimace

To respond to the increase in electricity consumption over the next few years without increasing the level of CO2, the executive could therefore bet on the atom. And make the nuclear subsidiary a strong element of the future presidential campaign, at the risk of disappointing environmentalists. “By focusing on EPRs and SMR, Emmanuel Macron clearly chooses nuclear power, contrary to the promises made at the start of his mandate. But it misses the main stake, energy sobriety, the change of model to lower our consumption ”, regrets the deputy Matthieu Orphelin, ex-LREM. “Macron understood that he would have a hard time seducing the young and green electorate. It is therefore aligned with the positions of the conservative right, ”adds this support from Yannick Jadot.

The question seemed to embarrass the Minister for the Ecological Transition, ex-EELV, on Friday on Europe 1. “In 15 years, we don't have time to build a nuclear power plant.

So there is only one solution: renewable energies, massively, ”pleaded Barbara Pompili, deferring any decision on nuclear power to the publication of RTE reports on possible scenarios for 2050, expected on October 25.

A “at the same time energetic” which can be explained by the strong cleavage in the opinion.

According to an Ifop poll published last week by the

JDD

, 51% of French people are in favor of the creation of new reactors, against 49% against

.

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  • Presidential election

  • Emmanuel Macron

  • Nuclear

  • Campaign

  • Nuclear plant

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