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[en] As the primary objective of any energy policy is now to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, i.e. to reduce the consumption of all carbonated fuels (coal, oil, gas) in all sectors, and to substitute them with electricity produced from nuclear and renewable sources, and all this under a double constraint (that of consumers, and that of public finances), this article aims at discussing whether the French policy defined by the law on energy transition for a green growth is able to face and meet these priorities. The author outlines that the struggle against greenhouse gas emissions in France mainly concerns the transport and heating sectors. He discusses drawbacks associated with a transition mainly focussed on electric power generation by wind and solar energy: these drawbacks concern the required and actual production level, necessary high investments, and the protection of the environment. He proposes four areas of development for a successful transition: electric transport, energy storage, power-to-gas conversion, and housing thermal insulation
[en] Biodiversity is threatened by the expansion of human activities. In this context, the nuclear industry, which is essentially concentrated in terms of material flows and industrial sites, has a number of advantages over wind and solar energy: much lower consumption of land and raw materials, and the ability to recycle. In de-carbonised energy scenarios, these differences argue in favour of maintaining a significant part of nuclear power rather than 100% renewable energy production
[fr]La biodiversite est menacee par l'expansion des activites humaines. Dans ce contexte, la filiere nucleaire, concentree par essence en termes de flux de matieres et de sites industriels, presente quelques avantages en comparaison des energies eolienne et solaire: consommations bien plus faibles de surfaces et de matieres premieres, aptitude au recyclage. Dans les scenarios d'energie decarbonee, ces differences plaident pour le maintien d'une part significative de nucleaire plutot qu'une production assuree a 100 % par les energies renouvelables
[en] In 1994, several noteworthy industrial plant commissioning and other events took place on the French nuclear scene : e. g. the restart of Superphenix fast breeder, the commissioning of MELOX plutonium plant, the site selection process for two underground laboratories, the national public debate on the environmental aspects of energy policy and several provocative reports by ecologist associations. They might have revived public controversies or even strong opposition. In fact, the public debate remained essentially cool. As revealed by routine annual polls, public opinion in France remains remarkably stable or slightly more in favour of nuclear energy, even though the risks created by waste disposal remain overestimated by the public. It is proposed in this paper to investigate deeper into these still waters of the French opinion. Some determinants will be surveyed, including national culture, institutions and industrial policy. More particularly, the analysis will focus on the waste management issue. Among other questions, the positive influence of the French back-end policy on public perception will be emphasized
[en] In this article, the author states the PPE (the French multi-year energy planning) does not seem to be the best way to reach objectives related to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. He first discusses the planned evolutions for renewable, fossil and nuclear energies. He states that the development of wind energy should take some impacts into account: wind energy requires 5 times more concrete, 20 times more steel and 20 times more ground surface than a nuclear plant. He states that France cannot afford stopping a performing industrial tool (nuclear plants)
[en] After an indication of sources of information, of the adopted approach and of its limitations, this publication proposes tables of data (and associated explications and comments) related to the number of jobs of the nuclear sector in the different French regions: direct jobs in 2009 and in 2014 (in a different number of companies), and direct and indirect jobs in 2015 related to the operated nuclear plant fleet. Synthetic approximations are proposed as global assessments.
[en] After an editorial about the importance of mobility de-carbonation, a first article proposes a synthetic overview of a study performed by the SFEN and by using the PRIMES model in order to identify the most efficient long-term pathways to reach objectives of de-carbonation of French and European energy systems in 2050. The second article reports a workshop held in June 2018 on human and social sciences and mobilities. Thus, it proposes an overview of the present situation of knowledge about the design and diffusion of new mobilities within the society. Discussed issues are the revolution of technologies and of usages, factors determining changes in behaviours, de-carbonation public policies and public expectations, how to conduct a societal change towards new mobilities, the future of the autonomous and sustainable vehicle, and soft mobilities. The third article proposes a synthesis of contributions and debates of a seminar on the development of bio-fuels in aviation. The next article addresses a research thesis which studied whether nuclear plants could be an option to support de-carbonation of French and European heat sectors.
[en] Recently, two nuclear units have been decided in Europe, both EPR 1,600 MWe. In Finland, TVO Company decided to commission a reactor in 2009 on Olkiluoto site. The license was granted in February 2005 and the construction started in summer. In 2004 in France, EDF Company decided an EPR to be commissioned in 2012 at Flamanville. In both cases, national Parliament vote has given the green light. It is interesting to understand why each company has made such decision. In TVO case, the main driving factor seems to be the need of industrial consumers for low and stable electricity price in a context of growing excess demand. In EDF case, no short term demand, but rather long term electricity company strategy seems to be the main reason. The relation to national energy policy is very clear in both cases. In Finland, the 5. Nuclear Power Plant was decided: - as a key element of the energy mix to meet growing electricity needs while replacing older plants, - to ensure, together with renewables, the fulfillment of the Kyoto commitments, - to secure stable and predictable electricity price for intensive industrial consumers (for instance, paper mills), - to reduce the dependence on electricity import. Here, it is argued more broadly that EPR will be a strong asset in the future European electricity market. To support this argument, we shall describe: 1) to what extent the evolving European electricity market may call for new nuclear units, 2) specific design features explaining why EPR especially fits with expectations, 3) cost assessments giving the conditions of EPR competitiveness, 4) main elements of risk assessment and how they are dealt with. (authors)
[en] After a column about the debate on the multi-year energy programming, this issue first proposes a study which addresses the assessment and possible reduction of building costs for third-generation nuclear reactors. It notably discusses building costs and delays, technical objectives, indicates reactor types, comments current building costs, outlines the importance of this building cost in the total electric power generation cost, shows that, based on the analysis of second-generation reactor building costs, a better management of building costs is possible. It discusses the expected evolution of EPR costs. The next article proposes a contribution of the economic analysis of decisions on the chronology of radioactive waste deep geological storage. An article then presents nuclear heat co-generation as a concept which aims at maximizing flexibility. Brief news are then presented (exhibitions and conferences)
[en] New European scenarios provide a complementary view to the 2017 RTE Forecast Report, and help to inform future decisions on France's Multi-Year Energy Program (PPE). Three additional variables must be considered: Europe, the long-term, and the energy system as a whole. France's Multi-Year Energy Plan (PPE), covers changes in energy supply and demand over the next ten years, in line with the many objectives of the Energy Transition for Green Growth Law (LTECV - Loi de Transition Energetique pour la Croissance Verte). The context in which the latest version of this document is being drawn up is twofold. On the one hand, the French Government stated in the 2017 Climate Change Plan, that 'the challenge of climate change is a priority', and has since set a greenhouse gas emissions neutrality goal for 2050. On the other hand, the first indicators monitored in the French National Low-Carbon Strategy (SNBC) show that, instead of decreasing, greenhouse gas emissions are currently increasing. France's mix of nuclear and renewable energy has resulted in an electricity production which is more than 90% de-carbonised and has the lowest CO2 emissions of all of the G7 member countries. In the coming years, the electricity mix is likely to diversify, as the economic and technical performance of renewable energies improves. The Energy Transition Law sets a goal of reducing the share of nuclear power in France to 50% by 2025. This objective is at odds with the priority given to the fight against climate change. RTE's 2017 Forecast Report (Bilan Previsionnel), shows that in order to meet this objective, 23 to 27 nuclear reactors would need to be shut down, whilst continuing to operate existing coal power plants beyond 2025, and building about 20 new gas-fired power plants. Such a scenario would result in an increase in emissions of 38 to 55 million tons of CO2 per year. Even though they have abandoned the date of 2025, the French Government has recently confirmed the goal of reducing the share of nuclear power. This raises the question of the pace of diversification of the electricity mix in discussions for the Multi-Year Energy Plan. RTE's Forecast Report serves as a guidance tool for this discussion; it looks in depth at changes in the production and consumption of electricity, as well as the solutions which make it possible to balance supply and demand. As such, RTE has published five scenarios for reducing nuclear at different timescales, and the conditions required to achieve them. The SFEN is looking to provide an additional perspective to the RTE scenarios, in line with France's national and international goals in the fight against climate change (and not on the objective of reducing the share of nuclear power). This work aims to identify the most economically efficient long-term trajectories for achieving the decarbonization objectives of the French and European energy systems. In this technical note, the SFEN puts forward three additional variables to those considered in the RTE scenarios. 1 - Europe: while the Energy Transition Law focused exclusively on the French electricity mix, the 2017 Forecast Report already specifies that it is 'no longer possible to consider the electricity production mix from an exclusively national viewpoint'. The RTE scenarios model cross-border electricity flows, which depend on interconnection capacity constraints at an hourly level. Although these scenarios take into account projected changes in neighbouring European countries' electricity systems, they do not enable us to understand the role of French nuclear power in de-carbonising their electricity production. By exporting low-carbon, flexible and dispatchable electricity to its neighbours, France supports the development of intermittent renewable energies in Europe. 2 - The long-term: the 2017 Forecast Report explores several scenarios over the 2018- 2035 time period, going beyond that of the Multi-Year Energy Plan (2019-2023 and 2024-2028). However, it is also necessary to take the implications of longer-term trajectories into account: the French Decarbonization (SNBC) and European Decarbonization Road-maps are now set for 2050, and the Paris Agreement sets a goal for 2100. Decisions on nuclear power need to consider these longer timescales: the benefits in terms of climate change and economic interests of extending France's existing nuclear fleet today, and renewing it from 2030, highlighted in earlier SFEN Technical Notes, underlines the need to maintain a core supply of nuclear power to 2050. 3 - The energy system as a whole: the 2017 Forecast Report focuses on the electricity supply-demand balance in France. The issues of the electrification of energy uses and the potential for decarbonization of other energy vectors are addressed exogenously via the forecasting of the overall electricity demand. The RTE scenarios, therefore, do not provide an understanding of the increasing contribution of the electricity system to greenhouse gas reductions across the entire energy system.
The French nuclear in the European energy system - Synthesis and recommendations. Scenarios based on the PRIMES model for the SFEN. SFEN note - April 2018. SFEN contributions to the energy multi-annual programming. The role of the French nuclear energy in the low carbon transition in Europe - Technical note
[en] This note first put three frameworks which would complement RTE scenarios of reduction of the nuclear energy share in the French mix by different time horizons: the European dimension, the long-term dimension, and the energy system as a whole. The PRIMES European simulation model has been chosen for this study. Its characteristics, properties and functionalities are briefly presented. Several scenarios have been studied. Some differ in terms of time horizon for a 50 per cent share of nuclear energy, while others either consider a steady nuclear capacity, or a regular increase of electric power demand, or examine two possibilities of deep de-carbonation by 2070. Results and lessons learned are presented and discussed. A second note provides information regarding the evolution of power production from nuclear energy in France within the framework of a European policy supporting a transition towards a low carbon economy. The PRIMES model has been used on several scenarios inspired by different European scenarios. Results are discussed in terms of nuclear capacity and investments, development of renewable energies, distribution of electric power generation, greenhouse gas emissions, electricity price, energy system costs, consequences for the rest of Europe