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Nuclear: extension after 60 years must be quickly justified, says ASN


In February 2022, Emmanuel Macron announced that he wanted to provide France with six new EPR2 reactors with an option for eight others. STEPHANE MAHE / REUTERS

The question of a possible extension of the oldest reactors must be considered “in the next 3 to 4 years”, according to the boss of the Agency, Bernard Doroszczuk.

EDF must study and justify without delay the hypothesis of an extension of its current reactors beyond 60 years, indicated Monday the president of the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) Bernard Doroszczuk, insisting on a necessary “anticipation“. “ASN would like the hypothesis of continued operation of the current reactors up to and beyond 60 years to be studied and justified in advance by EDF by the end of 2024“Said Bernard Doroszczuk, during his wishes to the press.

This deadline should allowan in-depth investigation leading to an ASN position statement by the end of 2026 on this possible possibility of continued operation“, while the nuclear fleet is aging. Most French reactors were built in the 1980s and are approaching forty years, their initially planned operating life. The nuclear policeman acted in 2021 the principle of extending the life of the oldest beyond 40 years, with works. Parliament must legislate, at best this summer, on the country’s energy objectives, and the share allocated to each type of energy, which will thus allow them to act, or not, on the relaunch of a nuclear program desired by the government.

In February 2022, Emmanuel Macron announced that he wanted to provide France with six new EPR2 reactors with an option for eight others, to support the exit from fossil fuels and the growth in electricity needs. For the ASN Chairman, “the reflections and the debate engaged on the new nuclear perspectives must relate to the whole of the park and not only on the new reactors“. “In the context of the current debate on nuclear power, safety and radiation protection issues must, according to ASN, be reviewed globally in advance and in a systemic manner for all nuclear facilities.“Explained the president of the nuclear police in France.

The question of a possible extension of the oldest reactors, commissioned at the end of the 1970s and in the 1980s, must be considered.with at least 10 or 15 years in advance“, that is to say “in the next 3 to 4 years“, he explained. These reflections must also be carried out on “the operation and future of the fuel cycle and the safe management of associated waste“said Bernard Doroszczuk.


HAVEALSO – Lifespan of nuclear power plants: “Why not beyond 60 years?”, Proposes an EDF manager



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