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France plans to invest in renewables while reducing the use of nuclear power

France wants to reduce the share of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix by 25% by 2025.


France seems to follow Germany’s plan to phase-out nuclear power in the following years, in order to make room for cleaner and less dangerous energy sources.

France’s new environment minister Nicolas Hulot announced during a visit in Bologna that France will reduce the share of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix from almost 75% (today) to only 50% by 2025.

Reducing the use of nuclear power in the country is not something new in France, but the new environment minister is now committed to moving from ideas to facts.

Today, France relies on 19 nuclear power plants and 58 nuclear reactors that cover about 75% of the country’s electricity demand.

The plan to reduce the share of the nuclear power in the country’s energy mix from 75% to 50% would represent the closure of 19 or even 20 nuclear reactors in the country.

The closure of the reactors will bring job losses in the sector, and maybe the migration of the employees from the nuclear sector to other energy sectors.

Nine nuclear reactors are currently decommissioned in France, and this is a long and costly procedure, which EDF (Electricite de France is a state-controlled utility) largely underestimated in terms of costs and difficulty of the operation.

Phasing-out nuclear power creates room for a wide development of the renewable energy in the country.

Let’s remember that France already has a solar road built in Normandy, but to cover 25% of the country’s energy demand from other sources than nuclear will require huge investments in the renewable energy generation capacity.

Beside solar power, France needs to invest in wind power, and also to use less polluting energy sources.

France’s power grid is built today to handle energy delivered by nuclear power plants (a constant energy source), and the switch from nuclear to solar and wind power will require a major upgrade of the entire grid (which will generate more costs).

France along with other major countries in the world (U.S., China, Russia, Japan, Korea, India and the EU) works to develop the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), which will replace the way of using nuclear power to produce energy.

Nuclear fusion makes the Sun to generate a huge amount of light, heat and energy every second (this is the popular version, not the scientific explanation of the reaction that takes place every second in the Sun).

If we can control the nuclear fusion reaction, we can say that the energy problem of the humanity is solved because the nuclear fusion reaction can produce huge amounts of clean energy, it generates small amounts of nuclear waste and is much safer than nuclear fission (the nuclear reaction used in today’s nuclear reactors).

Sadly, we need to wait a few more decades (at least by 2050) until humanity will be able to control the nuclear fusion reaction.

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Magda Savin

Magda Savin

I write about the renewable energy sector, electric cars and climate change issues.
I love nature and good food, so I travel all over the world to see new places and meet new people.
Magda Savin
Magda Savin
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