France could close a third of nuclear reactors: minister

July 10, 2017
France's new environment minister said nearly a third of the country's reactors could be shut under plans to scale back the amount of electricity produced from nuclear power

France's new environment minister said Monday nearly a third of the country's reactors could be shut under plans to scale back the amount of electricity produced from nuclear power.

In 2015, the previous Socialist-dominated parliament passed a law obliging the government to reduce the proportion of electricity generated from nuclear power from around 75 percent to 50 percent by 2025.

"We can all understand that to reach this target, we're going to have to close a certain number of reactors," Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot told RTL radio.

"It will be perhaps as high as 17 reactors, but we need to look into it," he said.

Hulot, a celebrity environmentalist, was named as minister for ecological transition in the first government of 39-year-old centrist President Emmanuel Macron, elected in May.

France has 58 nuclear reactors operated by state-owned EDF, which produces some of the lowest-cost electricity in Europe.

The country earns around €3 billion ($3.4 billion) per year from exports to neighbouring countries.

The network was once a source of national pride, but support fell after the Fukushima plant disaster in Japan in 2011 and the is keen to encourage the transition to .

Many of the plants were built in the 1970s and 80s in response to oil-price shocks.

They face lengthy safety vetting processes, hefty investment and political challenges to gain extensions in their operating life.

Explore further: French energy minister calls for new generation of nuclear reactors

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ecommbrewer
not rated yet Jul 10, 2017
Interesting to see how this will affect transportation given France's desire to eliminate all internal combustion engines from the transportation sector in favor of electric vehicles by 2050.
skystare
3.4 / 5 (5) Jul 10, 2017
Having demonstrated decades of trouble-free large scale nuclear power, clearly the French have solved the technology. Abandonment of the system can only be a religious move to appease the Green Puritans.
unrealone1
not rated yet Jul 10, 2017
France dose not have the expertise to maintain and operate the reactors now.
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 10, 2017
Abandonment of the system can only be a religious move to appease the Green Puritans.
That is certainly not the only option. The French and the Chinese are going to be building Hinkley Point - and had to get a guarantee from the British Gvt. of approx 12 cents u.s. Kwh - inflation adjusted up - in order to build. So it is possible that the French realized that renewables are a better option - given the cost curves on wind and solar.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Jul 10, 2017
The target of pseudo-environmentalists is to make room for more and more fossil fuel power plants(backup for intermittent renewables) as happened in Germany,
their target has nothing to do with CO2 reduction nor protecting environment from wind/solar(bird-choppers/landscape-destroyers).
It is a clear sign of their lack of honesty and integrity when they cite Fukushima(where no one has been killed from radiation exposure) to promote their eco-hypocrite solution(renewables placebos backed up by fossil fuels to compensate intermittencies)
Eikka
5 / 5 (3) Jul 11, 2017
The French and the Chinese are going to be building Hinkley Point - and had to get a guarantee from the British Gvt. of approx 12 cents u.s. Kwh - inflation adjusted up - in order to build. So it is possible that the French realized that renewables are a better option


The EDF is making the British pay for the failures of Areva at Finland and Flamanville by overcharging for Hinkley Point. EDF, which is the state owned electric utility, bought Areva NP.

The history is that Areva tried to build the EPR in Finland without having complete plans for the plant, outsourced critical parts to Siemens and others who then quit the project and left Areva scrambling to re-do their work. Costs running over, delays, they tried to save on labor by using migrant workers at 1/3 the minimum wages etc. etc. and STUK found the quality of work unacceptable and had them re-do it over and over.

And now UK needs a new reactor to replace their old ones, or turn to use more gas.
antialias_physorg
4.5 / 5 (2) Jul 11, 2017
[qInteresting to see how this will affect transportation given France's desire to eliminate all internal combustion engines from the transportation sector in favor of electric vehicles by 2050.
Since they're filling up on renewables - what change would you expect?

Anyways, they have to start shutting fown reactors because the planned 40-50 years lifetime cannot be (safely) reached. The manufacture of the containment vessels had used an inferior grade of materal...so these are starting to show cracks already.

It's just an example how nuclear is only ever safe on paper. Somebody will cut a corner for personal gain - no matter how hard you regulate (and even then it's just a matter of time until someone on the regulating comission or some of those doing the checking are on the take)
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 11, 2017
Also, the reason why the UK can "afford" to give a strike price of £92.50/MWh is because the alternatives aren't any cheaper.

Offshore wind power will get £80-85/MWh with the prices currently at over £110/MWh so it's in the same ballpark, but with the difference that renewable sources such as wind also get paid when not producing anything (curtailment), which is fairly frequent because the UK is a bunch of islands where the "virtual battery" doesn't work very well.

The second major difference between the subsidies EDF would be getting is that the government pays the difference up to the amount, whereas with renewables the subsidies are added on top of whatever price the electricity sells, so it's £85 plus curtailment compensation, plus sale price, plus the cost of load following and electricity imports to deal with the intermittency.

So in reality the cost of renewables is much higher, and increasing gas/oil consumption isn't an option, so what are you going to do?.
katesisco
not rated yet Jul 11, 2017
Well it shed light on the Middle East war. Got to buy oil and natural gas from somewhere. And that new country of Rojava fits right in there.
greenonions1
3.4 / 5 (5) Jul 11, 2017
So in reality the cost of renewables is much higher,
Flat false. The cost of renewables is falling - will continue to fall - and by the time Hinkley comes on line - offshore wind will be around £69 per Mwh. -
http://www.telegr...pay-off/
Onshore is of course cheaper. The answer to the question about why build Hinkley - is of course crony capitalism. The Brits will rue the day they decided to build Hinkley - if it does ever get built.
greenonions1
3.5 / 5 (2) Jul 11, 2017
The EDF is making the British pay for the failures of Areva at Finland and Flamanville by overcharging for Hinkley Point.
So let's think about this assertion (notice it is without any links or support) The Brits have 15 nuclear reactors - at 7 different sites - so they clearly have knowledge of the subject of nukes. EDF operates 58 nuclear reactors in France - and is able to produce power at very competitive rates (France has some of the cheapest power in Europe). Now - the stupid Brits are going to allow EDF to gouge them on the cost of a new plant - because EDF screwed up in building a couple of recent plants in France and Finland - and so want to make the Brits pay for their incompetence. Pretty stupid Brits right - or maybe Eikka does not really understand the situation....
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 11, 2017
The cost of renewables is falling...
...and CO2 emissions are rising, in Germany, in California, everywhere renewables placebos are backed up by fossil fuels.
"Germany Is Addicted to Russian Gas" - July 4, 2017
https://www.bloom...backyard
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 11, 2017
Willie
.and CO2 emissions are rising, in Germany, in California...
Do you have any data to support that assertion Willie? Graph at this site shows 2012 emissions for California at 459 million Tonnes - https://www.arb.c...port.pdf and Wikipedia shows 2014 emissions at 359 million Tonnes. This article says California is reducing it's C02 emissions - http://www.mother...slation/ Where is your data?
greenonions1
5 / 5 (1) Jul 12, 2017
and CO2 emissions are rising, in Germany, in California, everywhere renewables placebos are backed up by fossil fuels
Mmmmm - like maybe Europe? http://ec.europa....Fig1.png
WillieWard
3 / 5 (2) Jul 12, 2017
Taking into account billions of dollars spent, there's no meaningful CO2 reduction, most of reduction is due to replacement of coal by natural gas/fracking.
https://energyind...tion.jpg
https://calmatter...g?x35230
http://www.enviro...missions
http://www.pe.com...pah.html
"Want to find out how you are being bullshitted on renewables"
http://www.electricitymap.org

greenonions1
4 / 5 (5) Jul 12, 2017
Taking into account billions of dollars spent, there's no meaningful CO2 reduction
Well - you just moved the bar didn't you? You said that C02 emissions were rising "everywhere renewable placebos are backed up by fossil fuels". These were your words. I demonstrated that you were a liar - and as usual make definitive statements - without doing any fact checking. Now you move the bar - and declare that the reductions - that you previously said were not happening - are not 'meaningful.' I wish you would get tired of being wrong - and being shown up as a liar - and actually start being interested in facts....
greenonions1
4 / 5 (4) Jul 12, 2017
Want to find out how you are being bullshitted on renewables
Your map shows the exact opposite. Looky Canada and Sweden 3% fossil fuels. Many other countries like Spain, and Britain - around 50%. The world is changing.
MR166
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 12, 2017
Closing these power plants before there is an adequate replacement available shows a real death wish. Couple that with the government sponsored influx of immigrants and one has to wonder if France is suffering from some sort of collective guilt for their very existence.
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 12, 2017
"If renewables are "winning" we simply cant afford any more victories like that.."
"Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at the fastest rate ever recorded"
https://www.washi...ecorded/
"Closing CA's San Onofre plant in 2012 contributed to a 35% increase in state CO2 emissions"
http://www.nuclea.../climate
"Failed economics of Renewable Energy: The Facts"
http://principia-...y-facts/
"Climate hypocrisy: Norway ... expanding Arctic oil exploration"
http://www.redd-m...oration/
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Jul 12, 2017
MR
Closing these power plants before there is an adequate replacement available shows a real death wish
Or perhaps keeping them open would be a death wish - given the level of safety concern - and dishonesty by the nuclear industry - https://www.ecowa...462.html
Couple that with the government sponsored influx of immigrants
Always ready to throw in a little racism ey MR? This of course has nothing whatsoever to do with nuclear power - but you racists will always find a way to rationalize spreading your poison. Perhaps the situation is more that France is a compassionate country - that is willing to risk the price of letting some terrorists in - for the very honorable act of taking care of people who are in desperate need of humanity. Trump's response to being upset about violence - is to throw around cruise missiles. I prefer the French way.
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 12, 2017
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at the fastest rate ever recorded
Yes Willie - global C02 rates are still rising. But I just showed you that European rates are falling. Firstly - this directly contradicts your lie
CO2 emissions are rising, in Germany, in California, everywhere renewables placebos are backed up by fossil fuels.
So rather than acknowledge that progress is being made - your response is to keep howling at the moon. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good - right?
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 12, 2017
Closing these power plants before there is an adequate replacement available shows a real death wish.

Funnily enough, adequate replacement is readily available. Sooo...now what? If you're even halfway consistent your answer MUST be: "Fine, then close 'em".

...but for some reason I doubt that'll be the answer. Instead I'm wagering on some other strawman argument or some more moving of the goal post.
MR166
3 / 5 (4) Jul 12, 2017
I have no bias towards any particular type of energy. What ever combination produces the lowest cost uninterrupted 24/7 power is just fine with me. BTW cost in this case is cents/KWH delivered including any taxpayer funds.
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Jul 12, 2017
I have no bias towards any particular type of energy
Your response does not make any sense. You said that the French must have a death wish - for closing down the nukes before there was adequate replacement available. Antialias points out that there is replacement available - that shows your comment to be nonsense. You reply be blabbering about how you are not bias. Well - you are bias. You have shown that over and over. You hate renewables. You said that when megawatts of storage started to be deployed - you would do a happy dance. When shown that megawatts of storage are being deployed - crickets chirping. You hate 'crony capitalism' - except when it is done by the nuclear, or ff industries.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 12, 2017
I have no bias towards any particular type of energy.

Really? How many of your past posts of yours do you wish me to cite that show you do? 100? 1000?

C'mon. You are the most biased poster on the friggin' internet.

What ever combination produces the lowest cost uninterrupted 24/7 power is just fine with me.

While renewables and storage do just that - this is no longer a figure of merit worth considering. There is more to energy generation than cost. We have an environment. We affect it by what we do. Even if fossil fuels were so cheap as to give money back they don't make sense: Killing ourselves (by health issues from exhausts or climate warming) just to have a full bank account is insanity.

Nuclear similarly (but for other reasons - not because of climate). We don't have the waste and accident issues under control. It's an insane technology to use.
MR166
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 12, 2017
Fine Onions and Anti believe if you want that renewables are ready and able to replace all nuclear and fossil. Until the storage problem is licked I will not enable your fantasy. Don't try to tell me that Musk has it solved either. I doubt that there is enough lithium available to make a huge difference on the grid.
Davy_Crockett
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 12, 2017
It is "sad" that France has decided to alter its style of energy production after all the effort to get this current system up and running. I think the French decided with a view to the future, that costs for maintenance/replacement, security, and waste-management were spiraling up over time, and not coming down.

Also, the electorate has recognized that actual measured risk does not equal predicted risk. There are fewer than 1000 nuclear reactors ever built and there have been several close calls and two major disasters. Imagine if the Champagne region had to be evacuated and wine production was ended there forever.

Risk = Chance of Occurrence X Result of Occurrence: So while the chance of occurrence may be low, if the result is very bad, then the risk is high.

Live and learn I guess.
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 12, 2017
Fine Onions and Anti believe if you want that renewables are ready and able to replace all nuclear and fossil
Well it all depends on the time frame MR. No - we will not transition to renewables in 10 years. It is going to take time to scale up. Grid storage is probably not going to be handled by lithium. Certainly no exclusively. Here is an interesting article on a zinc/iron flow battery - http://www.power-...ost.html Another one on compressed air storage - https://cleantech...ral-gas/ There is also pumped hydro, molten salt, etc. The big question for me - is how can you declare yourself so unbiased - but never miss an opportunity to disparage progress - instead of being curious - and seeing where things go?
WillieWard
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 12, 2017
Radiation level in Chernobyl is lower than natural background in Finland. Only 56 confirmed deaths from 4000 projected, meanwhile air pollution from coal and other fossil fuels(backup for intermittent renewables) respects no border and is killing millions of people each year.
https://jmkorhone...live-in/
"In truth, nuclear power is the best energy source, in all respects. That's why greens are forced to use lies to fight nuclear power."
WillieWard
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 12, 2017
"72.8% Of World's Renewable Energy Is Made By Burning Wood & Dung—20x More Than Wind & Solar Energy"
"Why The Renewable Energy Industry Is (Mostly) A Scam"
https://www.natio...-energy/
Germany's energy mix 2016
https://pbs.twimg...pg:large
"Biomass More Polluting Than Coal, New Study Finds"
https://www.ecowa...699.html
"Renewables going to save us from climate change? Hype is easy."
https://pbs.twimg...BoL9.jpg
"Renewable energy neither practical nor viable"
http://blog.fathe...-energy/
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 12, 2017
"In truth, nuclear power is the best energy source, in all respects. That's why greens are forced to use lies to fight nuclear power
That's why nuclear advocates are forced to use lies to fight renewable energy. Fixed it for you Willie. https://nuclear-n...as-been/
http://www.theene...ar-plant
WillieWard
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 13, 2017
Real data and statistics do not lie.
Just take a look at Germany's energy mix (a country heavily committed with renewable placebos and ideologically against carbon-free nuclear energy) most of energy comes from fossil fuels and most of renewables is comprised by biomass which is worse than coal in terms of CO2 emissions.
https://energytra...img1.png
https://pbs.twimg...pg:large
MR166
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 13, 2017
Willie you just posted some great links thanks.
MR166
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 13, 2017
What irritates me the most about renewables is the fact that they are being hyped as a workable solution today. People are running around asking to ban fossil and nuclear thinking that replacements are at hand and that only the entrenched powers are keeping cheap power from becoming a reality. This is far from the truth and the exact opposite of reality. I am not against funding solar and wind R&D but all of the new nuclear technologies need R&D funding also. Making renewables cost competitive by placing onerous regulations on existing power sources is not the proper answer to renewable's shortcomings.
greenonions1
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 13, 2017
Making renewables cost competitive by placing onerous regulations on existing power sources is not the proper answer to renewable's shortcomings.
But that is not what is happening - as has been pointed out to you before. Stop making up straw men. I suppose you are advocating having no safety regs for nukes. That would fit your libertarian world view. Who cares if a couple of states get wasted by Homer Simpson.....
greenonions1
5 / 5 (1) Jul 15, 2017
MR
Making renewables cost competitive by placing onerous regulations on existing power sources is not the proper answer to renewable's shortcomings
It is notable that you never supply any support - while making very extreme assertions. What if the situation is actually the opposite of your assertion? What if fossil fuel generators are working to create road blocks for renewables, in order to favor their own industries. Here is my support for suggesting that in some parts of the world that is happening - https://cleantech...ed-ways/ The world is not as simple as Fox News/Brietbart talking points might have you believe.
WillieWard
1 / 5 (1) Jul 16, 2017
It's lamentable that instead of really fighting climate change, the enviro-psychopathic world leaders are focused in promoting renewable placebos(backed up by fossil fuels) fooling the misinformed public in order to take away taxpayers' hard-earned money.
"The goal, after all, is to curb global warming, not favour particular technologies"
"Better to target zero emissions than 100% renewable energy"
https://www.econo...s-better
"Solar & wind sometimes generate zero electricity — hence the need for coal back-up"
https://pbs.twimg...F7CU.jpg
"Studies Find Wind Turbines Unsustainable and Harmful to Wildlife"
http://thinkabout...ildlife/
greenonions1
3 / 5 (2) Jul 16, 2017
The goal, after all, is to curb global warming, not favour particular technologies
Well - there is more than one issue on the table. Funny how conservatives use to scream about all the dead senior citizens - when renewables were more expensive than ff. Now renewables are becoming the cheapest option - all of a sudden it is only about curbing global warming. Except that the conservatives have spent the last few decades arguing that global warming is a hoax. Your yellow leader said it was made up by the Chinese. So you are all over the map, and can't make up your mind. Now you favor nukes - despite how expensive they are - and no longer mention all the dead senior citizens. Hypocrites much...

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