Nuclear. What we know about Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the Flamanville EPR

Nuclear. What we know about Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the Flamanville EPR
Nuclear. What we know about Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the Flamanville EPR


Julien Munoz

Published on

May 15, 2024 at 7:10 a.m.

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It’s a event like the country has not seen for several decades. France will start a nuclear plant. Emmanuel Macron is expected Thursday May 16, 2024, in the morning, in Flamanville (Manche) for the launch of the EPR, 3 reactore generation.

Mark a milestone

The President of the Republic comes to mark the end of fuel loadingwhich will then make it possible to carry out a series of tests and several stages ranging from the rise in pressure of the tank to the divergence of the core, before connection to the electrical network.

The Flamanville EPR will have a power of 1,660 MW electric. At full capacity and with a load factor between 70 and 80%, it should produce around ten TWh per year.

Which corresponds, according to calculations, to the annual consumption of 3 million households. The increase in power will be gradual, as is usual.

A showcase for the sector

Until now, the history of the EPR is also that of a industrial epic like no other, a prototype with a design so complex that there will be no two similar in France, a head without a series, spearhead of an energy convinced that the good days are ahead of it, after having experienced some serious cold snaps and winds that would make the weather vanes waltz.

In retrospect, France was probably not ready to build the EPR around twenty years ago. But if it can consider building new reactors to meet the numerous energy challenges which are coming, it is because it is putting Flamanville 3 into service, with the hope of making it a showcase.

No time for announcements, according to the Élysée

In his famous Belfort speech, a few months before the 2022 presidential election, Emmanuel Macron set a course, with the order of six EPR 2, which are currently under development. Three sites were selected: Penly, Gravelines and Bugey.

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In Penly, the public debate is over, and the choice of Bugey was recently announced. The Élysée is aiming for the first concrete “fairly quickly”, before the end of the five-year term. Then would come a commissioning in the 2030 decadeaccording to the ambition set by the President of the Republic in Belfort.

According to Elysee sources, there should be no new announcements during this presidential visit. Emmanuel Macron wants to center the sequence around the work and excellence of the sector.


It should send a message of encouragement to all employees who have been mobilized on the site, but also to young people, recalling the challenges of training.

In Flamanville, through this celebration of the launch of the EPR, the President of the Republic wishes to explain to the young generation technicians or engineers than nuclear and renewable energies are of the professions of the future.

He should then leave Flamanville at the end of the morning. He will be accompanied by Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, and Roland LescureMinister Delegate for Industry.

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