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France plans to build up to 14 new EPR nuclear reactors by 2050

France has unveiled its energy strategy to 2030, including a recovery plan for civil nuclear power in the country. As part of the plan, France is expected to build 6 new next-generation EPRs (European Pressured Reactors II) and to launch studies for the construction of 8 additional EPRs as well as SMRs (Small Modular Reactors) to have 25 GW of new nuclear capacity by 2050. The first new EPR should be commissioned in 2035 and the lifetime of existing nuclear reactors would be expanded after 50 years. Meanwhile, EDF has signed an agreement to purchase the nuclear activity of GE Steam Power. In addition, France is targeting 100 GW of solar capacity by 2050 (a ten-fold increase), 36 GW of onshore wind (doubling) and 40 GW of offshore wind across around 50 offshore wind parks. Most of power generation would then be covered by renewables and nuclear.

In May 2021, EDF submitted plans to build six new EPRs to the French government. The new EPR 2 reactors would be built by pairs at Penly, Gravelines and Bugey or Tricastin, enabling to reduce costs and construction times. The group would wait until the commissioning of its Flamanville EPR project, since the French government has delayed a decision on new nuclear reactors until after the Flamanville 3 project is commissioned (now expected in 2023-2024). The cost for 6 new reactors is estimated at €46bn.

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