The government is counting on the support of LR and the PCF for its nuclear bill

The government is counting on the support of LR and the PCF for its nuclear bill

The Golfech nuclear power plant (Tarn-et-Garonne), January 3, 2023.

With each energy law, a different majority to be built for the government. After the adoption at first reading in the National Assembly of its bill on the acceleration of renewable energies (ENR) thanks to the support of the socialists and centrist elected representatives of Libertés, independents, overseas territories and territories, the executive intends this time to turn to Les Républicains (LR) and the Communist Party (PCF) to support its text for the revival of the nuclear sector, the examination of which begins in session in the Senate from Tuesday January 17.

In parallel with the ENR text which aims to limit appeals and remove blockages to develop solar or wind energy projects, the government intends to do the same for nuclear energy by shortening administrative and environmental procedures to facilitate the construction of new reactors.

The purpose of this text is to “not to put administrative procedures on the way to the construction of EPRs (new generation reactors) by 2035-2037”explained, Wednesday, January 11, the Minister of Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, before the senators.

Cold sweat

In line with the declarations of Emmanuel Macron announcing in February 2022 in Belfort his intention to launch six new EPRs and the launch of eight other sites, Agnès Pannier-Runacher clarified before the senators that “the first pour of concrete” for new reactors must intervene “by the end of the five-year term, so 2027”.

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In Parliament, if the vote on renewable energy gave the presidential coalition a few cold sweats in the face of the uncertainty until the end of having a sufficient majority, confidence is in order for the nuclear bill, whose date for examination at the Assembly has not yet been determined. “With LR and the PC, we have two parties which have extremely assertive positions and which de facto cannot oppose the text”advances the Renaissance deputy for Hauts-de-Seine Maud Bregeon.

“We are not dogmatic nuclear madmen. We just say that we will have to get out of it ”Sandra Regol, ecological deputy of Bas-Rhin

As during the solemn vote in first reading of the ENR text – where the PS had voted for, the ecologists had abstained, and LFI and the PCF had opposed it –, the New Popular Ecological and Social Union (Nupes) is going a once again display its disagreements on energy choices. The communists and some socialists could support the provisions of this bill, when the ecologists and the “rebellious”, who rely on the program of the Nupes – 100% renewable energies and the exit from nuclear power -, will firmly oppose a “new unraveling” town planning code and environmental law.

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