France now wants 14 new reactors

The first two nuclear reactors are earmarked for the Bugey site on the river Rhône (EDF)
The French government says it wants to build eight more nuclear reactors on top of the six previously announced.

Energy transition minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher told La Tribune Dimanche that more were needed to end France’s dependence on fossil fuels, which account for more than 60% of the energy consumed in the country.

“My ambition is to lower this figure to 40% by 2035,” she said.

She didn’t specify the type of reactors but said the aim was to construct an additional 13GW, which she said “corresponds well to the power of eight EPRs, without chiselling in marble this or that technology”.

France said it would expand its nuclear fleet by six EPR reactors in September 2022. The aim was to begin work on these before May 2027.

In November 2023, French nuclear operator EDF said it aimed to build reactors at a rate of up to 1.5 a year over the 2030s (see further reading).

Minister Pannier-Runacher was also asked about France’s hopes for international sales of the EPR design.

She said she planned to visit the Czech Republic and India, which were “two countries where EDF hopes to win contracts for the construction of reactors, but competition remains strong, especially against the American Westinghouse”.

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