France to Shut Down its Nuclear Reactors in the Next 25 Years

A lot is happening in France of late. From the visit of the President of the United States to Paris hosting 2024 Olympics. It has also been revealed that the country is looking to close 17 nuclear reactors in the next 10 years. This information was released by French environment minister Nicolas Hulot. The minister said that the move is aimed at fulfilling a promise that had been made to the French people sometimes back. The government had promised them a policy that would increase dependence on renewable energy. The move is also meant to reduce power production in France through nuclear reactors by 50 percent. At the moment, it’s estimated that 75 percent of the country’s electricity comes from nuclear energy. This is one of the many policies that have been implemented by Emanuel Macron’s government.

Earlier on, the energy minister outlawed the use of fossil fuel and gases to power vehicles in the next 25 years. The French government made this announcement on 12th June marking two years since the Paris accord was signed by world leaders. The environment minister was speaking to RTL radio station explaining that the French people will understand the move. This comes amid protests that closure of these 17 reactors will have socio-economic implications such as loss of employment. However, this move is seen as a diversion of the energy policy that has been used by France in many years. The large investment in the nuclear energy can be traced back to the year 1973 after the oil crisis caused by Arab nations. France wanted to ensure that it has energy independence thus building several reactors. Some of these reactors have been closed with the recent closure being experienced in Strasbourg.

The wrong thing with these French reactors is that they employ the same design. At the moment, France has 58 reactors, and they consist of the American Pressurized Water Reactor design. All these reactors cost the country $330 billion. This dependence on nuclear electricity means that France is the only country that depends on nuclear energy almost entirely. This sector also employs close to 200,000 citizens. This dependence also means that France is one of the countries in the world with the least greenhouse emissions. For instance, the country emits just 4.32 tons of CO2 annually. The United States emits 16.22 tons annually while the average CO2 emission recommended by the European Union is just 6.22 tons per year. These plants had also been built to service the country for 40 years only.

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