France to revise nuclear reduction target

8 November 2017

The French government plans to come up with a more "realistic" target to reduce the share of nuclear energy in the country's energy mix, Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot told a news conference on 7 November.

In 2015, the previous government of Francois Hollande established an energy transition law setting a target of reducing the nuclear share in the energy mix from 75% to 50% by 2025. Hulot said this is not realistic, but reaffirmed that the present government's commitment to reduce nuclear energy, and said he had asked his ministry to produce a new timetable. "We will reduce the share of nuclear in the mix as soon as possible," he said, noting that doing so in a hurry would increase France's carbon emissions and could endanger the security of supply.

President Emmanuel Macron has promised to respect Hollande's target, and Hulot had said in July France might have to close as many as 17 of its 58 reactors by 2025 to achieve it.

However, France's grid operator RTE said in its 2017-2035 Electricity Outlook that if France went ahead with plans to simultaneously shut down four nuclear plants and all of its its coal-fired capacity as planned, there could be risks of power  shortages.

Meanwhile, EDF, which operates France's 58 nuclear reactors, is pressing to extend the operating life of the fleet from 40 to at least 50 years.

Photo: Map showing France's nuclear fleet

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