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State utility says investments ‘aligned with European taxonomy’

The four-unit Blayais nuclear station in France. EDF is planning a programme of long-term operation for the nuclear fleet.

France’s state utility EDF said it has signed “green bank loans” for €5.8bn ($6.3bn) which will be used to finance the life extension of its existing nuclear power plant fleet in France.

EDF said the loans, which have maturities of between 3 and 5 years, have been arranged with banks, including BNP Paribas, Bank of America, Crédit Agricole CIB, ING, Natixis CIB, Société Générale and Wells Fargo.

EDF noted that the investments in the extension of the operation of its reactors “are aligned with the European taxonomy”.

In July 2022, the European Parliament voted to include certain nuclear activities within the European Union’s list of officially approved “green” investments.

According to the taxonomy, nuclear can be considered as taxonomy compliant as long as it meets several stringent conditions, including the country having operational facilities for very low, low and intermediate radioactive waste, and plans in place for an operational disposal facility for high-level radioactive waste.

In 2011, EDF announced its “Grand Carénage” life extension programme for the existing nuclear fleet.

Under the programme, EDF planned to spend around €55bn by 2025 on upgrading its plants to improve their performance and enable their continued operation beyond 40 years. The programme also includes safety upgrades in response to the Fukushima-Daiichi accident in Japan.

France’s share of generation from its fleet of 56 nuclear plants is about 62% – the highest in the world.

France is making an aggressive push to promote nuclear power in the European Union and has plans to build a new generation of EPR2 nuclear plants with the first planned for the Penly nuclear site in northern France.

France is planning to build its first new generation of EPR2 nuclear plants at Penly in northern France.

Date: Wednesday, 15 May 2024
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