General – France
On 10 February 2022 French President Macron announced ambitious plans for at least six new nuclear power reactors – and the possibility of eight more for a total of 1414 new 1600 MWe nuclear reactors.
Macron said the new plants would be built and operated by state-controlled energy company EDF and that tens of billions of euros in public financing would be mobilized to finance the projects and safeguard EDF’s finances.
In making this commitment, he is outpacing every other western nation to pursue decarbonization by investing in nuclear energy.
The cost at an estimated $6,000/Kw would be about $9.6 billion per reactor or about $135 billion for the entire fleet of 14 1600 MWe EPRs.
“What our country needs, and the conditions are there, is the rebirth of France’s nuclear industry,” Macron said, as he unveiled his new nuclear strategy in the French eastern industrial town of Belfort.
The first new reactor, an evolution of the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) known as the EPR2, would come online by 2035. Studies for a further eight reactors beyond the initial half-dozen new plants would be included in the massive effort.
Assuming that economies of scale are achieved in building out the first 14 reactors, the next eight will have capital requirements of an additional $77 billion, more or less, in the 2044 to 2050 time frame.
France will also increase its solar power capacity tenfold by 2050 to more than 100 GW and target building 50 offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of at least 40 GW.
Capacity from land-based wind turbines, which face strong public resistance, would only be doubled by 2050, he said.