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France-nuclear.pngAs of 31 December 2022

France has 56 operable reactors with a total capacity of 61,400 MWe at a variety of coastal and inland sites throughout the country. An EPR is under construction at the Flamanville plant in Normandy on the northwest coast.

In January 2023 the government approved a draft bill that included the removal of the objective to reduce the nuclear share of France's electricity production to 50% by 2035.

In March 2023 France’s Parliament formally approved the government’s nuclear investment plan to construct six EPR-2 units at three sites at an estimated cost of €52 billion.

The full renationalization of EDF was completed in June 2023. The utility’s finances have recently been adversely impacted by generic stress corrosion issues at several nuclear plants. The problem was first discovered in December 2021, when maintenance checks on the primary circuit at Civaux 1 revealed corrosion near the welds on pipes of the safety injection system. Similar faults were soon discovered at other units, requiring the need for checks across much of the country’s nuclear fleet. Due to the resulting outages, in February 2023 EDF posted a record annual loss of €17.9 billion ($19.0 billion) for 2022.

In July 2022 France's nuclear safety regulator, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire, approved of EDF’s inspection and repair strategy for all of its reactors for the years 2023-2025.

Figure Fr1. Annual electricity output (TWh) and age of reactors (years) at time of generation


Figure Fr2. Average capacity factor of reactors in France


Figure Fr3. Emissions avoidance through use of nuclear generation in France


WNN Links

French regulator approves EDF schedule for weld checks : World Nuclear News - 27 April 2023

France outlines plans to speed new nuclear : World Nuclear News - 4 November 2022

Further delay to Flamanville EPR start up : World Nuclear News - 19 December 2022

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