Last week, President Emmanuel Macron introduced a new energy policy for France, stating that the policy’s primary objective was to increase the country’s production capacity for carbon-free energy and decrease its energy consumption.
Macron stated that the country needed to produce more carbon-free electricity in the coming decades because even if it decreased its consumption of energy by 40%, the exit from gas and oil in the short term implied that it would replace a portion of the fossil fuel consumption with electricity. This, he said, was why France needed to be able to produce at least 60% more electricity than it currently does.
The president explained that the key to producing this electricity in the most sovereign, safest and carbon-free way was to develop both nuclear and renewable energies. Macron noted that this was the least costly choice from a financial point of view, the most convenient from an economic point of view and relevant from an ecological point of view.
In addition to this, he stated that the operation of all existing reactors needed to be extended, as long as safety was taken into account. He also announced the launch of a new reactor program that will involve the EDF designing the EPR2, a new reactor for the French market.
Plans are underway to build half a dozen new nuclear power reactors as well as begin studies on the construction of an additional eight nuclear power reactors. Preparatory projects are set to begin in the coming weeks, including definition of the locations of the six reactors, referral to the national commission for public debate, finalization of design studies and a scale-up of the nuclear sector.
Extensive public consultation on energy will commence in the second half of this year, after which parliamentary discussions will begin next year to amend the multiannual energy program. Macron revealed that plans for construction would start by 2028, with the first EPR2 being commissioned by 2035.
He also stated that one billion euros would be made available through the country’s 2030 re-industrialization plan for innovative reactors to produce less waste and close the fuel cycle and the Nuward small reactor project. He hopes the country will have constructed its initial prototype by 2030.
The French government will also implement a new nuclear electricity regulation in agreement with the European Commission, which will allow French businesses, households and consumers to benefit from stable electricity prices. Currently, nuclear energy makes up about 75% of the country’s power production.
As more governments give nuclear energy priority status in their efforts to green up their economies, extractors such as Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) could soon see an increase in ongoing supply contracts.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/UUUU
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