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Gironde: the economic world unites to demand new EPRs at the Blayais power plant

2023-12-07T13:38:07.709Z

Highlights: Gironde: the economic world unites to demand new EPRs at the Blayais power plant. The Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Industry has brought together "all the economic decision-makers" of the department and the region to call for the installation of new nuclear reactors. With currently four reactors, this plant provides about 65% of the region's electricity needs. However, an amendment led by Green senator Monique de Marco was voted in the Senate in January 2023.


The Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Industry has brought together "all the economic decision-makers" of the department and the region to call for the installation of new nuclear reactors at the Braud-et-Saint-Louis power plant in the Gironde estuary.


Le Figaro Bordeaux

The Gironde wants to participate in the revival of nuclear power. In Braud-et-Saint-Louis, the Blayais nuclear power plant is one of the oldest in France still in operation. In February 2022, Emmanuel Macron announced that six new EPRs (European Pressurised Reactors) would be built and that studies would be launched for eight more. Since then, many local elected officials have been fighting for the plant's candidacy to be taken into account for the hosting of two new EPRs, among the eight under consideration. On Wednesday, economic players also affirmed their support.

Gathered at the initiative of the Bordeaux Gironde Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), "all the committed economic decision-makers of Gironde and Nouvelle-Aquitaine are clearly and unanimously in favour of the installation of two new EPR2 reactors on the site of the Blayais nuclear power plant". Among the supporters of this installation are the various presidents of the Chamber of Trades and Crafts, the Medef, the Confederation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, the Club of Medium-Sized Companies, the French Building Federation and the National Federation of Road Transport. "The hosting of new-generation reactors will guarantee clean and carbon-free energy," explain the presidents of these various bodies.

Read alsoCOP28: nuclear power, a major but not a miracle solution to achieve carbon neutrality

A power plant located in a flood zone

In November 2022, ten parliamentarians wrote to Élisabeth Borne to ask for the State's support for the candidacy of the Braud-et-Saint-Louis power plant. For them, this site "has all the assets to accommodate new nuclear power installations", namely "very low population density within a radius of five kilometres, land availability, cold source and distribution network". As the construction of six new-generation EPRs is already underway, it is in the hypothesis of a second round of EPR creations that local stakeholders would like to see the Blayais bid considered. With currently four reactors, this plant provides about 65% of the region's electricity needs.

However, in January 2023, an amendment led by Green senator Monique de Marco was voted in the Senate, making it impossible to install new EPRs "in a flood zone or one that has suffered flooding or marine submersion", which immediately discredited the Blayais' candidacy. Indeed, during the passage of storm Martin in 1999, the waves passed over the dike of the plant, forcing the emergency shutdown of two reactors and even leading the authorities to consider the evacuation of the city of Bordeaux, located about 60 kilometers away. This amendment was deleted by the National Assembly during a committee examination, thus allowing the candidacy of the Blayais to remain conceivable.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-12-07

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