As France’s Constitutional Council prepares to issue new regulations to support the deployment of new nuclear reactors this summer, nearly 800 scientists gathered around the forum to call for an end to the new nuclear program.
The French government is currently defining its roadmap for reviving nuclear power. However, some members of the scientific community oppose its plans to speed up the development of new plants and make it easier to maintain existing plants.
A recently launched forum of about 800 scientists is now demanding the end of France’s new nuclear program. The state plan includes the construction of six new nuclear reactors at a total cost of around 60 billion euros ($65.35 billion).
“This would for a long time remove the means needed to meet the common challenges of the climate crisis, the collapse of life, widespread pollution and the depletion of natural resources,” the opposition researchers said.
The signatories have also drawn attention to problematic nuclear waste management and the monopoly of nuclear power in energy development policy.
“Nowadays, any criticism of nuclear technology, subject to dual industrial and military secrecy, has become very difficult in the laboratories and facilities associated with it,” they said.
Scientists also warned against the notion that nuclear power is a sustainable energy source in a climate emergency.
“The scarcity of fresh water and the reduction of river flows associated with the soon-to-be chronic drought in France, as well as the risks of coastal inundation due to rising oceans and sea levels. The increase in events due to extreme weather conditions will make the operation of nuclear facilities very problematic,” they said, noting that nuclear power plant cooling is France’s third largest source of water consumption.
According to information from the Ministry of Ecological Transition, nuclear energy currently needs about 12% of water resources, after agriculture and drinking water consumption.
“Betting on new reactors, the first of which would be operational in 2037 at best, has no way of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions today and drastically, as the climate emergency demands,” the researchers said.
On June 21, the Constitutional Council confirmed the law to revive nuclear power. However, the institution found critical aspects in 10 of the 30 sections of the law. In particular, it rejected changes to the energy code, which were intended to take low-carbon hydrogen into account in the goals of the national energy policy and in the multi-year energy program.
However, the Council agreed that the proposed nuclear power development is justified by its contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and that it is very important for environmental protection and France’s energy independence.
“In this regard, the Constitutional Council reminds that it is not its task to determine whether the goals set by the legislature could have been achieved by other means, because the methods approved in the law are not in accordance with scientific and technical knowledge. , obviously unsuitable for these purposes,” they said.