France has a €100 billion nuclear reactor upgrade bill

French utility EDF will need to spend some €100 billion ($113 billion) on upgrading its fleet of 58 nuclear power reactors by 2030, the country’s state audit office has said. The upgrades are needed to meet new safety requirements and to extend the lives of the units beyond 40 years.

EDF announced its Grand Carénage life extension program for the existing fleet in France in 2011. Under this investment program, the company planned to spend around €55 billion on upgrading its plants to improve their performance and enable their continued operation. The program also includes safety upgrades in response to the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan.

In its 2016 annual public report, released yesterday, the Cour des Comptes (Court of Audit) said it estimates that almost double this amount would have to be spent by 2030.

If France implements an energy transition law, which calls for France’s reliance on nuclear energy to be reduced to 50% of power generation by 2025, “is likely to challenge the planned investments and force the company to close a third of its reactors”. This, it said, will have “important consequences in terms of jobs” and could result in “compensation supported by the state”.

SOURCES – World Nuclear News