Having formally launched the development of its third generation of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, France is embarking on a broad renewal of its nuclear forces. The aim is to ensure that its deterrent remains credible into, and beyond, the middle of this century,
IISS 14th May 2021 read more »
EDF reform: the defeat of Hercules, the proposed split desired by the government and management. After the rejection of the project to split the public energy group, the government pleads for a “large EDF” which would preserve its integrity. This will not exempt him from substantive questions about the future of nuclear power. France owns with EDF one of the largest European energy groups, the world’s leading nuclear operator, with 56 reactors in operation. However, this public giant, present in the four corners of the territory, never seems to get out of its difficulties. To its old and structural complexities have been added those of the energy transition and European constraints. On the occasion of his greetings at the start of the year, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, recalled in very concrete terms the extent of the challenge facing the public company and, therefore, the French State. : “Today, EDF is going against the wall if we are not able to give it the means to invest,” he explained. The group, underlined the minister, is also afflicted with a level of indebtedness which “is not sustainable”. The equation is indeed delicate: EDF is dragging a debt of 42 billion euros and faces a considerable investment schedule. First, because the French nuclear fleet is aging and requires significant and expensive work to continue to operate. But also because the group must position itself in renewable energies, an area in which it is clearly behind its European competitors. Not to mention possible investments in new nuclear reactors – which alone could represent more than 46 billion over fifteen years. This balance is all the more difficult to maintain as the group loses around 100,000 individual customers every month, and has done so for three years. Finally, the complex mechanism put in place to favor EDF’s competitors contributes to worsening its balance sheet.
Le Monde 14th May 2021 read more »