“Nuclear is one of the most expensive energies, and it makes us dependent on Russia”

HAS with few exceptions, the presentation currently made on nuclear power in the media and in public discourse is part of a movement that is unfortunately gaining momentum: that of alternative truth, dear to Putin, Trump and a few others. This has the unfortunate consequence of telling a completely false story, applying the famous adage: ” The bigger it is, the more it’s acceptable. »

We can be a supporter of nuclear power, because of the absolute priority given to the fight against climate change, arguing that renewable energies will never allow a sufficient volume of electricity. It is less and less exact, but it is a thesis which can be understood. On the other hand, by dint of hearing untruths, the French are today convinced of a series of nonsense:

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“Nuclear energy is the cheapest. » It’s wrong. If France has indeed benefited from cheap energy for many years, thanks to nuclear paid for by the French, nuclear energy itself is today one of the most expensive. Amory Lovins, in an interview granted to World October 31precise : “Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysts say a new nuclear kilowatt-hour costs five to 13 times more than a new solar or wind kilowatt-hour. »

Completely unreasonable financial choices

“Nuclear energy is the only one that can ensure France’s independence. » It is totally false. The wind, the sun, the water from which our territory benefits ensure our independence. The same is not true of uranium, which is mined in countries “complex”, such as Niger or Kazakhstan. The fuels themselves make us 30% dependent on the Russian Rosatom, as if the gas precedent had not been enough for us. Moreover, Germany has never counted nuclear energy as an energy ensuring the country’s independence.

“The nuclear industry is the flagship of French industry. » She was. Unfortunately, she is no longer. No EPR has been sold abroad since the two Hinkley Point reactors, in reality sold to EDF, since British Energy belongs to EDF. No need to dwell on Olkiluoto (nineteen years late) and Flamanville 2 (a cost of 19.1 billion against 3.3 billion planned and still not started).

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“The current setbacks of nuclear are their responsibility with the ecologists who obtained the closure of Fessenheim. » This is obviously totally false. The current setbacks in the nuclear sector are the responsibility of the sector’s own players. In question: totally unreasonable financial choices, investments of between 10 billion and 20 billion dollars lost abroad, the lack of maintenance at a suitable level of the French fleet. In particular, eleven years after Fukushima, the power stations which, for purely financial reasons, have decided to resort to subcontracting, rather than maintaining a high level of qualified personnel. As for Fessenheim, its closure is incumbent on EDF’s choice not to invest, from 2018, in this power plant which was actually to close if Flamanville opened. This choice led to having to close in 2020, for lack of carrying out the minimum works, even though Flamanville was not open, and the plant could therefore continue to operate. Moreover, this closure was accompanied by hundreds of millions of euros paid to EDF for an alleged loss for which it is in fact largely responsible.

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