Plans are underway for the construction of up to 14 new nuclear reactors in France, an initiative that could help lower greenhouse gas emissions and offer a shield against volatile energy prices in the European country.
The French President, Emmanuel Macron stated that his country would build six nuclear reactors, and research the possibility of commissioning eight more. “With the electricity demands, the need to also forecast the transition as well as the end of the existing fleet, which cannot be increased indefinitely, today we are going to inaugurate a program of new nuclear reactors,” he stated.
Start of construction of the 14 nuclear reactors in France
Construction will start in 2028, and the commissioning of the first new reactor could be by 2035. The push deeper into nuclear marks a policy reversal for Macron, who four years ago vowed to close 12 nuclear reactors being a move away from the power source.
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The nation was forced to shift to coal power this winter to reach its energy demands after over a fifth of the nuclear reactors in the country went offline. France wasn’t the only nation in the continent to struggle during winter as wholesale gas prices spiked to record levels, increasing households’ heating bills.
Struggling consumers in France collected grants and payments from the government to assist defray costs.
Move towards net-zero emissions
The International Energy Agency states that nuclear power generation will be more than double from 2020 to 2050, pursuing the net-zero. Its electricity mix share will lower, but that’s because the need for power will rise as the world electrifies a lot of machines, like cars and other vehicles.
The European Union is focusing to slash 55% greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030, moving to a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050. Net-zero is where emissions are fast lowered, and any that remain are offset, whether using natural techniques like planting of trees or technology to “capture” emissions.