French Report Faults Indecision on Nuclear Industry via The New York Times

PARIS — France’s failure to make a definite decision about its energy future has left it with little choice but to extend the life of its existing nuclear power plants, an independent government agency said Tuesday.

The French Court of Audit noted in a report that with 22 of France’s 58 nuclear power plants due to reach their originally envisioned 40-year life span by 2022, the country must either sharply increase investment in new electricity production — the equivalent of 11 new-generation nuclear plants — or extend the lives of its existing plants if it wants to maintain output at current levels.

The court, an independent agency perhaps analogous to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, noted that in a practical sense the kind of build-up in new generating capacity necessary to replace the aging reactor fleet was essentially “impossible.”

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