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MAP: Where are the six new nuclear reactors planned for in France?

The Minister for Energy wants to introduce a new bill to accelerate the building process

The new nuclear reactors will be built at existing power plant sites. Photo for illustration purposes only Pic: Philip Lange / Shutterstock

Plans have been announced to build six new nuclear reactors in France by 2035. 

As of January 2023, France has 56 nuclear reactors situated at plants across the country, however not all of them are currently operational. 

The new reactors are set to be built at already existing nuclear power plants.

A nuclear reactor is a system that contains and controls sustained nuclear chain reactions and they are used to create energy. 

Work is already underway to build a new reactor at the Flamanville power plant, with construction hoped to be finished in 2023. 

Meanwhile, the plans for the six new reactors will require a bill to be passed to streamline the construction process if the 2035 deadline is to be met with World Nuclear News reporting there is an option to develop for a further eight reactors

Read also: Rising energy bills in France: we recap the aid available in 2023

Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, hopes to save up to 56 months in construction time by simplifying the administrative procedures of building at pre-existing nuclear plant sites. 

It will mean that the plants will be exempt from planning permission as the state would assure they met planning rules.

The expropriation law will also be relaxed, and work on buildings not intended to receive radioactive substances can be started before the conclusion of the public inquiry.

The plans have proved controversial with many, including environmental groups such as Greenpeace, which said: “Nuclear is not an energy source that can respond to the urgence of the climate crisis given the very long construction times.”

Under François Hollande (France’s president from 2012 to 2017) the government aimed to cap nuclear capacity to 50% of France's total power output by 2025, it is thought to presently provide around 75% of France's power production.

See where France’s nuclear sites are at this map:

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