Getting out of nuclear power and Greenpeace “slam the door” of the public debate on the atom

French Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, during a visit to the Chinon nuclear power plant, in Avoine (Indre-et-Loire), October 28, 2022.

Empty chairs: the Nuclear Exit network and the NGO Greenpeace “slam the door”. lamenting “a democratic masquerade”, them two collectives hostile to the atom refuse to participate following the public debate on whether or not to relaunch nuclear power in France. Calendar problem, they criticize in a press release, Tuesday, January 24: “Despite the efforts and warnings of the organizers of the public debate, the government has worked to undermine the work of consultation to better push through its nuclear program. »

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The same day, the Senate adopted at first reading the executive bill to speed up the administrative procedures for new reactors – the government hopes for at least six, including two first in Penly (Seine-Maritime). That is a little over a month before the end of the consultation on this subject; an essential step, since the contracting authority, EDF, had an obligation to refer to the National Commission for Public Debate (CNDP).

A few more themed evenings

“We must respect the public debate”, said Tuesday the Minister of Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher. However, his entourage does not endorse the responsibility: “It is not up to the government to promote this debate conducted independently by the CNDP”he said to World.

After a launch in October 2022, there are still a few themed evenings around the atom: on cost and financing (in Lille, Thursday January 26), on climatic and geopolitical uncertainties (in Lyon, February 2), on the place of society in decision-making (in Tours, February 16). Closing simultaneously in Paris, Rouen and online, on February 27.

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The choice of whether or not to start construction sites will still await the future programming law on energy and climate, scheduled for the second half of the year. The bill on administrative simplifications, however, already contains an amendment aimed at deleting the objective of reducing the share of nuclear power to 50% of national electricity. What “comes down to considering as irrelevant (…) the questions, comments and proposals made during the current public debate”, was it underlined in a previous press release, on January 18. This was signed by Chantal Jouanno, president of the CNDP, and Michel Badré, president of the debate in question.

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