Oil report

Macron wants to announce new nuclear EPR reactors before Christmas -Le Figaro

PARIS, Oct 18 (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron wants to announce before Christmas the construction of six new nuclear EPR reactors in France, Le Figaro reported on Monday.

The impact of Europe’s gas crisis on energy prices, and the knock-on effect on household spending power six months out from France’s next presidential election, had accelerated the decision to commit to EPR technology, the newspaper added.

An Elysee spokesperson declined to comment.

Early in his presidency, Macron pledged to reduce nuclear’s contribution to France’s energy mix to 50% from 75% by 2035. But the energy crisis is changing the mood in Paris.

“The energy crisis shows we are right to chose nuclear for our green energy transition,” Le Figaro quoted an un-named senior government official as saying.

Previously, the government had said it would not launch any new EPR reactor projects until EDF’s EPR nuclear power plant in Flamanville, northwestern France, is completed.

However, on Oct 1., Industry Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said here France could decide to build six new reactors before Flamanville is fully operational. Flamanville has suffered a decade of delays and huge cost overruns, and ministers still decline to say when it will go online. (Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Sandra Maler)