French President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday that France’s energy and ecological future depends on nuclear power. Speaking during a visit to the Framatome Le Creusot factory, Macron said the industry includes 3,000 companies and 220,000 jobs, with 5,000 new hires slated for 2021 despite the crisis caused by the pandemic. “Few sectors offer as much, especially to our young people and across the country,” Macron tweeted.
French President Macron during his visit to Framatome yesterday (Image: Elysée Palace)
According to the World Nuclear Association, France obtains about 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy thanks to a long-standing policy based on energy security. France is the world’s leading net exporter of electricity due to its very low production cost and derives more than 3 billion euros per year. Government policy, however, is to reduce the share of nuclear power in its electricity mix to 50% by 2035.
The Élysée Palace issued a press release on Macron’s “three convictions” which guide the future of French nuclear power: “Our energy and ecological future depends on nuclear power; our economic and industrial future depends on nuclear power; and France’s strategic future depends on nuclear power. . ”
As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change points out, nuclear energy is a non-intermittent source of energy that emits the least CO2. To produce 1 kWh, a coal-fired power plant emits 1,000 g of CO2, while a nuclear power plant emits only 6 g, the press release noted.
By producing more than 41% of the energy in France, “nuclear power makes us autonomous,” Macron said. “It also preserves French purchasing power, with an average kWh 40% cheaper than in our European neighbors. “Nuclear energy must therefore” continue to be a pillar “of the French energy mix” for decades to come, “he declared. French nuclear know-how is exported all over the world and has a trade surplus of 7 billion euros and this “major asset must be consolidated”.
For this reason, the France Relaunch The stimulus package announced on September 3 includes the government’s commitment to invest nearly 500 million euros ($ 606 million) in the nuclear sector. With 100 million euros by 2021, this fund will aim to support strategic players in the sector who would otherwise be in difficulty due to the pandemic crisis. This fund will be supplemented by a modernization fund of 70 million euros for companies in the sector. France Relaunch will also allow the development of small modular reactor technology.
“Everything that makes France an independent power, listened to and respected is based on the nuclear industry,” Macron said.
His nuclear statement was released two days ahead of the EU leaders meeting in Brussels to discuss further coordination on COVID-19, climate change, security and external relations. On December 11, they will also meet for the eurozone summit. They will aim to agree on a new EU emissions reduction target for 2030 to enable the EU to submit its updated nationally determined contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change before the end of this year.
Research and writing by World Nuclear News