Macron announces construction of new nuclear power plants

Unlike Germany, France also relied on nuclear energy after Fukushima. In view of the climate crisis, President Macron is now announcing the construction of a new generation of power plants.

Paris – French President Emmanuel Macron has announced the construction of a new generation of nuclear power plants. In a televised address on Tuesday evening, Macron justified this with, among other things, the fight against climate change and concerns about a reliable energy supply.

At the same time, however, the development of renewable energies should also be continued. France is one of the countries that have been using nuclear energy for a long time and want to stick to it. 56 reactors are currently in operation there.

Macron said in the TV address: “In order to ensure France’s energy independence, secure our country’s electricity supply and achieve our goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, we will start building nuclear reactors in our country again for the first time in decades.” A few weeks ago he announced his intention to create smaller reactors by 2030, which should also make it easier to deal with nuclear waste.

Unlike Germany, France continued to rely on nuclear energy after the disaster in Fukushima, Japan in 2011. The country’s oldest nuclear power plant in Fessenheim, Alsace, was shut down last year, and further reactor units are to be taken off the grid by 2035. However, France is currently still in second place behind the USA among the world’s largest producers of nuclear power. According to a study by the network operator RTE, CO2-neutral electricity operation without new nuclear power plants would only be possible with enormous efforts by 2050.

Excessive costs and technical problems have recently hampered the expansion of nuclear power by the state energy company EDF. An operating license was recently issued for a controversial nuclear reactor in Flamanville on the English Channel, construction of which began in 2007. Commissioning was last postponed to the end of 2022 – also because leaky welds were discovered in the steel shell. Instead of the originally estimated 3.3 billion, the costs are now probably more than twelve billion euros. dpa

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