France Makes Massive Nuclear Bet, Here Are The Details

France Makes Massive Nuclear Bet, Here Are The Details

French President Emmanuel Macron announced the government would support the construction of six new nuclear reactors across the country. The first nuclear reactor will be operational by 2035, according to Macron.

"We must continue the great adventure of civilian nuclear power in France," Macron told the media during a visit to the eastern city of Belfort, home to France-based General Electric's turbine unit.

He also announced research to assess feasibility for a further eight nuclear reactors.

"Given the need for electricity, the need to anticipate transitions, the end of the existing fleet, today we will launch a new nuclear reactor program," Macron said.

The six new units will be the EPR, originally known as the European Pressurized Water Reactor, which has been designed and developed by French company Framatome and its parent Electricite de France (EDF).

This technology is also used at the Hinkley Point power plant in the UK and in Taishan, China.

"The new EPR reactor will be equipped with a small modular reactor (SMR) with the goal of producing 25 gigawatts of new nuclear capacity by 2050," Macron said. The president added that he had made two more major decisions.

He has asked EDF to study the conditions to extend the reactor's life by more than 50 years.

Macron wants future reactors to be used forever, and only shut down for safety reasons.

France has strongly supported the development of its nuclear industry over the past four decades, but neighboring Germany has been phased out of nuclear power, with environmental and safety considerations at its heart.

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