President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to launch the construction of six next-generation nuclear reactors (EPR), with an option for eight more, while accelerating the deployment of renewable energies with a priority on solar and wind turbines at sea.
The nuclear bill “will make it possible to accelerate the installation of new reactors, in already existing sites, already hosting reactors”, explained the Minister for Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher on Europe 1 on Tuesday.
“It’s a common sense measure to save time,” she added, confirming information from Figaro that the objective would be to lay the first stone of the future new generation EPR2 reactor before the end of the five-year term. in 2027, even if commissioning cannot take place before 2035.
In the explanatory memorandum to the bill, which AFP consulted, the government invokes the climate emergency and the country’s electricity needs which will increase.
As for accelerating solar and wind power, which are the subject of a separate bill, the government first wants to simplify administrative procedures.
The law would, for example, exempt projects from planning permission because the compliance check will be carried out by the State services when the creation application is submitted.
The text authorizes reactors in areas covered by the Coastal Act, with certain exemptions for projects located in continuity with existing nuclear sites, by the sea.
The projects will respond to “an imperative reason of major public interest, allowing them to benefit from one of the conditions for granting exemptions relating to protected species”, also stipulates the project.
The text was sent Monday evening for consultation to the National Council for Ecological Transition (CNTE), which brings together unions, employers, NGOs, communities.
The League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) has already expressed its anger at the method and the timetable, and the absence of an impact study announced.
“Received Monday evening at 8:18 p.m. Tomorrow Wednesday first work meeting. But we cannot free ourselves in 24 hours! This Friday 1st opinion, and Wednesday October 5 vote. Being an important subject, namely to accelerate the construction of new nuclear facilities and this without democratic debate, the LPO refuses to serve as a guarantee for this parody of consultation”, reacted its director general, Yves Vérilhac.