A clear policy is expected on the reduction of nuclear


PARIS (Reuters) – clear decisions on reducing the weight of nuclear power in France are expected in the context of the next multi-annual programming of energy (EPP), according to the first conclusions of a public debate on the topic presented Friday.

The government plans to deliver in July, a first version of the EPP for the periods 2019-2023 and 2024-2028, before a final text by the end of the year.

The minister of the ecological Transition-Nicolas Hulot has been formalized in the past year, the deferral of the deadline of 2025 to reduce to 50% the share of nuclear in electricity production in France (compared to approximately 75% today), the question of the number and rate of closures of reactors, and the assumptions of the evolution of consumption, will form part of the major issues of the text.

Jacques Archimbaud, president of the commission of the public debate on the EPP, said Friday at the closing of the consultation that “signals that appear unbalanced, or the postponement sine die of the 50% would be seen as extremely negative.”

“According to the commission, it is clear (…) clear from the debate that the text of the EPP should include a timeline net and clear procedures for the closure of reactors, with guarantees and specific measures of support for the employees and for the territories (…)”, he added during a speech before the economic Council, social and environmental.

Recognizing that the debate on the EPP – who had beginning mid-march – is likely to remain “too confidential”, Jacques Archimbaud, however, noted that it had generally identified a “backwardness of France compared to its own targets” in terms of energy transition and readability “not very obvious” public policy.

“There is a problem of data (with a) difficulty to find their way in the jungle of dates and deadlines : 2025, 2028 ? 2030 ? 2032 ? How is it that we are not able to establish a range that makes authority in terms of costs of production, networks, jobs ?”

Jacques Archimbaud has also highlighted the critical of the lack of unambiguous scenarios of the share of the State in terms of power consumption, especially with “questions that are not resolved on the forecasts of european exchanges and on the electricity market”.

The minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, said on Tuesday that the diversification of the energy mix of France should accelerate the development of renewables without weakening its base and nuclear, while judging it to be “vain” to want to oppose the two sectors.

A few days earlier, Nicolas Hulot had referred to a “drift” related to nuclear power, underlining at the same time the cost reductions of renewable energies.

(Benjamin Mallet, edited by Cyril Altmeyer)

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