“We must build new reactors to ensure the supply of France in 2040”, according to the French nuclear energy company

“We must build new reactors to ensure the supply of France in 2040”, according to the French nuclear energy company
“We must build new reactors to ensure the supply of France in 2040”, according to the French nuclear energy company
The Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) is launching a public consultation on Thursday 3 December on the continued operation of the oldest French reactors beyond 40 years “but at the end of the day, it is the ASN which is the judge”, warns Valérie Faudon, general delegate of the French Nuclear Energy Company (SFEN) on franceinfo.“We must build new reactors to ensure the supply of France in 2040”, she explains. Valérie Faudon predicts “enormous tension on the European network” the next few years.

Does EDF really have the means and the capacity to check its installations today and to improve their safety?

Absolutely. The work has already started. Last year, the first unit underwent advanced checks as well as a number of modifications to Tricastin [la centrale ardéchoise]. The site went very well. After this first experience, EDF prepared a real industrial program. Admittedly, the Flamanville EPR [Manche] has taken some delays and it is true that we have found that not having built for fifteen years, we have lost skills in the construction and maintenance trades, but today we have a extremely experienced industrial fabric since we have a very large nuclear fleet which has an excellent reputation in terms of safety. Reactors are constantly being updated. We can change the components and put new safety systems to adapt to knowledge and changes in the environment. And that is in particular due to EDF’s experience but also to the requirements of the Safety Authority. The work requested by ASN from EDF is among the most demanding work in the world to pass the 40 years mark. To give you an idea, it asks that the fleet be brought up to the same level of safety as a very new generation EPR type reactor.

The nuclear policeman demands that EDF give meaning to the continued operation of the reactors. Does this make sense?

But of course since today it is the nuclear fleet that ensures our security of supply. During the presidential campaign, there was talk of reducing the nuclear fleet by 2025 to 50% of the electricity supply against more than 70% today. But for that, we would have to build 20 gas plants, which is completely against our climate objectives. Nuclear power does not emit greenhouse gases, so it is good for the climate. We must even think from now on building new reactors to be ready to ensure the supply of low-carbon electricity to France by 2040. Most French reactors will reach 60 years of age at the end of the 2030s and our neighbors are going to shut down their coal plants. It will put enormous strain on the European network.

Will the public consultation be respected and the French heard?

On the issue of security, we have an independent administrative authority which leads expert groups, which consults a great deal, including foreign experts. But at the end of the day, it is the Nuclear Safety Authority that is the judge and has the authority to shut down an installation if it thinks it is necessary or to authorize the installations to operate. In fact, the consultation will allow everyone to get information because there are a lot of documents that are made available. And then, this is not the first consultation. It’s a long process that always gets better, as society changes and people increasingly want to be involved in decisions. Both ASN and manufacturers are adapting to this demand from citizens.

Source link
https://www.francetvinfo.fr/societe/nucleaire/nucleaire-il-faut-construire-de-nouveaux-reacteurs-pour-assurer-l-approvisionnement-de-la-france-en-2040-selon-la-societe-francaise-de-l-energie-nucleaire_4205663.html

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