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Covid-19 strains French nuclear model

Workplace restrictions could hasten the decline of France’s fleet of baseload generators

Nowhere on earth embraced nuclear power as enthusiastically as France. In 2019, 70pc of its power output was fuelled by uranium rather than gas, coal or renewable sources. But French nuclear power is not without problems. The two-decade long travails of new EPR technology has almost entirely stalled the build-out of new capacity to renew the country’s ageing fleet. The need for greater flexibility in thermal power as renewable capacity increases, as well as changing public opinion towards nuclear power, also raises questions for the future. But France still assumes 50pc of its power output will come from nuclear plants in ten years’ time. The challenges posed by Covid-19 could change all t

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