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(Updated 2010)


1.1 Country Overview

1.1.1 Geography and Climate

France is situated in Western Europe and is nearly hexagonal in shape, with an extreme length from north to south of 965 km and a maximum width of 935 km. The total area of metropolitan France, including the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean, is 552 000 km2. In addition to the European or metropolitan territory, the country includes several overseas “départements”, territorial “collectivités”, and overseas territories. The climate of metropolitan France is temperate, with wide regional contrasts. The average annual temperature is about 12 degrees. Precipitation is evenly distributed, averaging about 760 mm annually.

1.1.2 Population

The total population is about 64,7 million at the beginning of 2010 and the population density around 99 inhabitants per km2 (Table 1). Population growth rate is around 0.7% per annum.


      Average Annual Growth Rate (%)
  19902000 20052010* 2000 - 2010
Population (Millions)58.0 60.562.764.7 0.7
Population Density (Inhabitants/km2)- -99.099.0 0.0
Urban Population as % of Total --77.0 77.00.0
Area (1000 km2)649.0
*Latest Available Data

Source: INSEE, data for 1st of January, (p) for provisory

*: Without population of French Overseas Territories (Polynésie française, Nouvelle-Calédonie, Mayotte, Saint- Pierre-et-Miquelon, Wallis-et-Futuna, Saint-Martin et Saint-Barthélemy) estimated to 0,77 millions inhabitants at 1st of January 2009.

In 2009, the population has increased by 0,35 million of people. Average life expectation is 77,8 years old for men and 84,5 years old for women. The French population represents about 13% of the European Union one, second behind Germany. France (like Ireland) has a dynamic rate of fertility compared to other European countries: (199 children for 100 women) far from the European average (150 children for 100 women). By 2050, according to an INSEE study (Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques), the population may reach 70 millions.

1.1.3 Economic Data

GDP growth rates in France in the recent years, was 2,2% in 2007 and 0,4% in 2008 too (in constant prices). Table 2 shows the historical trend of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in current prices.


 Average Annual Growth Rate (%)
 1980 19902000 20062008 2000 - 2008
GDP (Billions of Current )445.0 1033.01441.01806.0 1950.04.0
GDP (Billions of Constant 2000 US$)689.0 1239.01328.012953.0 2122.07.0
GDP Per Capita (Current US$/Capita) 11535.017277.025276.0 30819.033090.03.4
* PPP: Purchasing Power Parity
** Latest Available Data

Source: INSEE for GDP in current €; OECD for GDP in current US$

1.2 Energy Situation

France has deposits of various metals and little fossil fuel resources. Owing to high recovery costs, production of fossil fuels has decreased to a rather low level and is not expected to provide a significant share of the country energy supply in the future. Most hydropower resources are already exploited. Therefore, the French energy policy places high emphasis on improving energy independence through the development of domestic technologies, including nuclear power, alternative energies and renewables, in order to alleviate the country vulnerability to the volatility of fossil fuel international markets and to meet the Kyoto commitments.

The French domestic energy reserves are listed in Table 3. Table 4 provides statistical data on energy and electricity supply and demand between 1973 and 2008. It illustrates the long term increase of nuclear power in primary electricity production to improve French energy independence. Since 1973, primary energy consumption undergoes a regular increase though much slighter in recent years (+0,2% between 2000 and 2008). Domestic production accounts for some 50% of that consumption. The energy balance improved in the last two decades, mainly due to the raise of electricity exports. Energy intensity has lowered owing to structural changes in the economy, i.e. reduction in the share of energy intensive industries in total GDP, and to a lesser extent, to efficiency improvements.


 Fossil Fuels Nuclear
  OilLiquified Hydrocarbons GasUranium*
Total Amount in Specific Units*14.0 0.166.311700.0

*Solid, Liquid: Million Tons
Gas: Gm3
Uranium: Metric Tons
Hydro, Renewable: TW

*at 01/01/2006, reasonably assured + inferred resources at a cost below 130$/kg of uranium

Proved reserves at 01/01/2008

Sources: MEEDDM


 Average Annual Growth Rate (%) Average Annual Growth Rate (%)
ENERGY CONSUMPTION**1973 19801990 20002005 20072008 1973 - 20082000 - 2008
TOTAL179.7190.0 228.3269.2276.7 273.7273.65.4 0.2
- Coal 27.831.119.2 14.213.412.9 12.1-9.8-2.0
- Oil121.5107.1 88.395.191.6 90.488.9-3.8 -0.8
- Natural Gas 37.641.040.6 40.715.01.0
- Primary Electricity7.7 22.283.2108.9 117.5116.2117.1 40.50.9
- Thermal Renewables9.4 8.411.413.3 13.213.714.9 5.91.4
ENERGY PRODUCTION 19701980 19902000 20052007 20081973 - 2008 2000 - 2008
TOTAL 43.552.5111.8 132.5138.4135.3
- Coal17.313.1 0.20.1-47.5 -32.4
- Oil 1.1-8.3-6.0
- Natural Gas6.36.3 0.90.8-22.7 -7.5
- Primary Nuclear Electric 3.816.081.7 108.2117.7114.6 114.553.00.7
- Other Renewables9.8 8.711.412.5 13.313.714.0 1.01.4
Energy Independence Rate 19701980 19902000 20052007 20081973 - 2008 2000 - 2008
TOTAL 23.727.449.7 50.5--
* Latest Available Data
** Energy Consumption = Primary Energy Consumption + Net Import (Import - Export) of Secondary Energy
*** Solid Fuels Include Coal and Ligite
Source: MEEDDM

During the post World War II reconstruction period, France’s economic and social development relied mainly on the deployment of energy intensive industries. The rapidly increasing energy needs were partly met by domestic coal and hydropower resources. However, French domestic fossil fuel resources being limited and costly, the country had to rely heavily on imports for its energy supply. By 1973, imports were covering more than 75% of national energy consumption, compared to 38% in 1960. After the 70’s oil crisis, the country was in need of better energy independence. At that time, implementation of a large nuclear power program became a major element of France’s energy policy, including also energy saving measures, efficiency improvement and research and development in the field of renewable energies. The share of nuclear power in primary energy supply increased from less than 2% in the late seventies to about one third in the mid nineties and reached 41% in 2008.

The main macro-economic impacts of France’s energy policy are: drastic improvement in the energy trade balance, stabilization of domestic energy prices at a rather low level, increased competitiveness of French companies on international markets and deployment of a nuclear industry sector covering reactor construction and the whole of the fuel cycle. Increased awareness of environmental constraints reflects in the French energy mix, aiming to reduce the negative impacts of energy production on health and environment. In this regard, substitution of nuclear power to fossil fuel for electricity generation resulted in a drastic reduction of atmospheric emissions.

1.3 The Electricity System

1.3.1 Decision Making Process

The General Directorate for Energy and Climate (DGEC), under the Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Sea (MEEDDM), is in charge of implementing the French government policy on energy within the framework of the European directives. The Minister of MEEDDM and the Minister for Health control health and environmental impacts of industrial facilities, including energy production and transformation plants.

The transmission grid operator RTE (Réseau de Transport de l'Electricité) is in charge of balancing generation and consumption over the grid, operating the power system, and maintaining and developing the public power transmission network. According to the law of 10 February 2000, RTE must establish at least every two years an evaluation of medium-term evolution of consumption, transport capacities, distribution, and exchanges with foreign grids, to help the government to elaborate the PPI (Programmation Pluriannuelle des Investissements) which is a report on medium-term power generation capacity investments planning that the energy Ministry must prepare and release to the Parliament. Last report on PPI was released in June 2009.

The state-owned utility Electricité de France (EDF) which was nationalized in 1946 along with the national coal, oil and gas companies, became a limited liability company in November 2004 and increased its capital by 30% in October 2005 (the law stipulates that the French State will hold at least 70% of the capital and voting rights in EDF SA). A public service contract between the government and EDF, laying down the terms and conditions for the implementation of its public service mission, was also signed at the same time. The French government appoints EDF’s chairman.

1.3.2 Structure of the Electricity Sector

The European directives on the liberalization of the electricity market have been fully transposed into the French legislation.

The transmission grid operator RTE has been individualized inside EDF according to the European rules, and manages the load dispatch system independently. An independent regulatory authority, CRE (Commission de Régulation de l'Energie), guarantees equal access and competition to all market players. Since July 2007, any site (34 million sites) can choose to be supplied by a private utility or remain within regulated tariff (three possible contracts).

EDF is still the main operator for production and distribution. It operates all nuclear and part of the fossil-fuel fired and hydro-power plants. The main other suppliers are GDF-Suez (both companies merged in July 2008 and hold CNR and SHEM ), SNET (groupe EON) for coal-fired plants and Wind electricity, and private manufacturers operating back-up or combined heat and power production units, as well as operators of small and medium size hydropower plants. 17 providers recorded on the CRE's suppliers' list actually operate on the French market.

Regarding distribution activities, local authorities grant the concession of well-defined areas. There are about 160 distribution companies featuring municipality or joint ownership, with a 5% share of total electricity billing.

1.3.3 Main Indicators

Table 5 shows the history of electricity production and Table 6 the energy related ratios. At present, about 90% of France’s electricity is of nuclear and renewable origin, the remaining 10% coming mainly from fossil fuels. Electricity demand grows in line with GDP, though at lower rate.


 Average Annual Growth Rate (%) Average Annual Growth Rate (%)
Capacity of Electrical Plants [GWe] 19731979 19902000 20052007 20081973 - 2008 2000 - 2008
TOTAL --103.7 115.1115.5115.9
- Thermal-- 2326.725.3 -0.2
- Hydro --25 25.225.425.4 25.30.10
- Nuclear-- 55.863.263.3 63.363.10.7 0
- Other Renewables --- -1.53.1 5.6--
Electricity Production (TWh)1973 19791990 20002005 20072008 1973 - 20082000 - 2008
TOTAL**182.4241.4 420.1540.8576.2 569.9574.53.3 0.7
- Thermal 119.5133.648.2 53.166.762 60.4-1.91.6
- Hydro, Wind, Solar48.1 67.858.372.5 5868.374.7 1.20.4
- Nuclear14.840 313.7415.2451.5 439.7439.510.2 0.7
**Electricity transmission losses are not deducted
Source: RTE


 19731979 199020002005 2008
Energy Consumption Per Capita (TEP/Capita)3.5 4.44.15
Electricity Consumption Per Capita (MWh/Capita)
Electricity Production/Energy Production (%) 183478 868988
Nuclear/Total Electricity (%)8 177577 7876.3
Ratio of External Dependency (%)**76.1 75.350.648.9 50.443.5
**Net Import/Total Energy Consumption
Source: Ministry of Economy


2.1 Historical Development and current nuclear power organizational structure

2.1.1 Overview

Historically, the development of nuclear power fell into four phases. During the 1960’s, in line with the overall target of industrial independence and domestic technological development, indigenous designs were promoted (mainly natural uranium - gas cooled reactors and fast breeders). However, a PWR unit (Chooz-A) was built jointly with Belgium and a heavy water reactor in Brittany (Brennilis).

International developments in the nuclear industry led in the late sixties to the recognition that the French reactor designs could not compete with light water reactors. In 1969 the decision was made to build LWRs under license, whilst restructuring the domestic industry to improve competitiveness. Subsequently, the French government envisaged a construction program of one or two PWRs a year.

From 1974 to 1981 emphasis was put on adaptation of the Westinghouse design for the development of a French standard. The nuclear programme accelerated the pace with the 1970’s oil crisis. The unit-capacity of French reactors increased from 900 MWe to 1,300 MWe and later to 1,450 MWe. France developed and implemented, in parallel with the nuclear power plant program, a strong domestic fuel cycle industry, built upon the infrastructure originally established by CEA.

In 1981, Framatome terminated its license with Westinghouse and negotiated a new agreement, giving greater autonomy. Framatome developed a wide range of servicing expertise and capabilities in reactor operation and maintenance services. In the same year, France had to adapt its energy policy to a lower than expected economic growth, together with the occurrence of over-capacity in the national electricity supply system. The achievement of the 1450 MWe N4 model was the landmark for a totally autonomous French reactor design.

Then, a new period started. In 2000, Framatome merged with the nuclear activities of Siemens (Germany). It resulted into Framatome Advanced Nuclear Power, which is integrated to the AREVA group and now called AREVA NP (Nuclear Plant) since 2005. AREVA holds 66% and Siemens 34%. In 2006, the construction of a 1600 MW European Pressurized Reactor, designed by AREVA NC, was started in Olkiluoto (Finland). It was followed by another one in Flamanville (France) in 2007. In January 2009, the French president announced the future construction of a reactor in Penly (France). In February 2009, SIEMENS announced its wish to sell its AREVA group's participation.

2.1.2 Current Organizational Chart(s)

2.2 Nuclear Power Plants: Status and Operations

The share of nuclear power in the French electricity supply has reached its technical and economic maximum, amounting to about 63,000 MWe. It consists of fifty-eight units pressurized water reactors (thirty four 900 MWe, twenty 1300 MWe, and four 1450’s), all constructed by the French manufacturer Framatome (AREVA NP), now that the 230 MWe fast breeder reactor, Phenix has been disconnected from grid in early 2009.

The nuclear plants account for 390 TWh in 2009 (over 75% of total electricity production), setting France the world’s second largest nuclear power producer. Table 7 lists the status of the power plants as of year-end 2008. In 2008 Nuclear power generation represented about 42% of total primary energy supply, and 84% of the domestic energy production, making EDF by far the number one nuclear operator and the first electricity producer in the world.


StationType Net CapacityOperator StatusReactor Supplier Construction DateCriticality Date Grid DateCommercial Date Shutdown DateUCF for
BELLEVILLE-1 PWR1310EDF OperationalFRAM01-May-80 09-Sep-8714-Oct-87 01-Jun-88 55,3 
BELLEVILLE-2PWR1310 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-Aug-8025-May-88 06-Jul-8801-Jan-89  92,6 
BLAYAIS-1 PWR910EDF OperationalFRAM01-Jan-77 20-May-8112-Jun-81 01-Dec-81 86,1 
BLAYAIS-2 PWR 910 EDF Operational FRAM 01-Jan-77 28-Jun-82 17-Jul-82 01-Feb-83 90,3 
BLAYAIS-3PWR910 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-Apr-7829-Jul-83 17-Aug-8314-Nov-83  87 
BLAYAIS-4PWR 910EDFOperational FRAM01-Apr-7801-May-83 16-May-8301-Oct-83  87,4 
BUGEY-2PWR 910EDFOperational FRAM01-Nov-7220-Apr-78 10-May-7801-Mar-79  78,9 
BUGEY-3PWR 910EDFOperational FRAM01-Sep-7331-Aug-78 21-Sep-7801-Mar-79  73,5 
BUGEY-4PWR 880EDFOperational FRAM01-Jun-7417-Feb-79 08-Mar-7901-Jul-79  88,5 
BUGEY-5PWR 880EDFOperational FRAM01-Jul-7415-Jul-79 31-Jul-7903-Jan-80  87 
CATTENOM-1 PWR1300EDF OperationalFRAM29-Oct-79 24-Oct-8613-Nov-86 01-Apr-87 82,2 
CATTENOM-2PWR1300 EDFOperationalFRAM 28-Jul-8007-Aug-87 17-Sep-8701-Feb-88  71,7 
CATTENOM-3 PWR1300EDF OperationalFRAM15-Jun-82 16-Feb-9006-Jul-90 01-Feb-91 80,5 
CATTENOM-4PWR1300 EDFOperationalFRAM 28-Sep-8304-May-91 27-May-9101-Jan-92  89,8 
CHINON-B-1 PWR905EDF OperationalFRAM01-Mar-77 28-Oct-8230-Nov-82 01-Feb-84 88,1 
CHINON-B-2PWR905 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-Mar-7723-Sep-83 29-Nov-8301-Aug-84  65 
CHINON-B-3 PWR905EDF OperationalFRAM01-Oct-80 18-Sep-8620-Oct-86 04-Mar-87 83,5 
CHINON-B-4PWR905 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-Feb-8113-Oct-87 14-Nov-8701-Apr-88  77,1 
CHOOZ-B-1 PWR1500EDF OperationalFRAM01-Jan-84 25-Jul-9630-Aug-96 15-May-00 97 
CHOOZ-B-2PWR1500 EDFOperationalFRAM 31-Dec-8510-Mar-97 09-Apr-9729-Sep-00  86,1 
CIVAUX-1 PWR1495EDF OperationalFRAM15-Oct-88 29-Nov-9724-Dec-97 28-Jan-02 77 
CIVAUX-2PWR1495 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-Apr-9127-Nov-99 24-Dec-9923-Apr-02  91,1 
CRUAS-1PWR 915EDFOperational FRAM01-Aug-7802-Apr-83 29-Apr-8302-Apr-84  80,8 
CRUAS-2PWR 915EDFOperational FRAM15-Nov-7801-Aug-84 06-Sep-8401-Apr-85  70,9 
CRUAS-3PWR 915EDFOperational FRAM15-Apr-7909-Apr-84 14-May-8410-Sep-84  61 
CRUAS-4PWR 915EDFOperational FRAM01-Oct-7901-Oct-84 27-Oct-8411-Feb-85  78,5 
DAMPIERRE-1 PWR890EDF OperationalFRAM01-Feb-75 15-Mar-8023-Mar-80 10-Sep-80 90,7
DAMPIERRE-2PWR890 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-Apr-7505-Dec-80 10-Dec-8016-Feb-81  83.97
DAMPIERRE-3 PWR890EDF OperationalFRAM01-Sep-75 25-Jan-8130-Jan-81 27-May-81 91,5
DAMPIERRE-4PWR890 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-Dec-7505-Aug-81 18-Aug-8120-Nov-81  68,8
FESSENHEIM-1 PWR880EDF OperationalFRAM01-Sep-71 07-Mar-7706-Apr-77 30-Dec-77 67,9
FESSENHEIM-2PWR880 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-Feb-7227-Jun-77 07-Oct-7718-Mar-78  68,5
FLAMANVILLE-1 PWR1330EDF OperationalFRAM01-Dec-79 29-Sep-8504-Dec-85 01-Dec-86 43,8
FLAMANVILLE-2PWR1330 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-May-8012-Jun-86 18-Jul-8609-Mar-87  57,9
FLAMANVILLE-3 PWR1600EDF constructionAREVA07-Dec ---  -
GOLFECH-1 PWR1310EDF OperationalFRAM17-Nov-82 24-Apr-9007-Jun-90 01-Feb-91 80
GOLFECH-2PWR1310 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-Oct-8421-May-93 18-Jun-9301-Jan-94  79,2
GRAVELINES-1 PWR910EDF OperationalFRAM01-Feb-75 21-Feb-8013-Mar-80 01-Dec-80 91,8
GRAVELINES-2PWR910 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-Mar-7502-Aug-80 26-Aug-8001-Dec-80  80,7
GRAVELINES-3 PWR910EDF OperationalFRAM01-Dec-75 30-Nov-8012-Dec-80 01-Jun-81 78,6
GRAVELINES-4PWR910 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-Apr-7631-May-81 14-Jun-8101-Oct-81  85,8
GRAVELINES-5 PWR910EDF OperationalFRAM01-Oct-79 05-Aug-8428-Aug-84 15-Jan-85 82,3
GRAVELINES-6PWR910 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-Oct-7921-Jul-85 01-Aug-8525-Oct-85  71,5
NOGENT-1PWR 1310EDFOperational FRAM26-May-8112-Sep-87 21-Oct-8724-Feb-88  78
NOGENT-2PWR 1310EDFOperational FRAM01-Jan-8204-Oct-88 14-Dec-8801-May-89  68,8
PALUEL-1PWR 1330EDFOperational FRAM15-Aug-7713-May-84 22-Jun-8401-Dec-85  91,1
PALUEL-2PWR 1330EDFOperational FRAM01-Jan-7811-Aug-84 14-Sep-8401-Dec-85  85,1
PALUEL-3PWR 1330EDFOperational FRAM01-Feb-7907-Aug-85 30-Sep-8501-Feb-86  98
PALUEL-4PWR 1330EDFOperational FRAM01-Feb-8029-Mar-86 11-Apr-8601-Jun-86  70,8
PENLY-1PWR 1330EDFOperational FRAM01-Sep-8201-Apr-90 04-May-9001-Dec-90  95,5
PENLY-2PWR 1330EDFOperational FRAM01-Aug-8410-Jan-92 01-Feb-9201-Nov-92  86,1
ST. ALBAN-1 PWR1335EDF OperationalFRAM29-Jan-79 04-Aug-8530-Aug-85 01-May-86 49,3
ST. ALBAN-2PWR1335 EDFOperationalFRAM 31-Jul-7907-Jun-86 03-Jul-8601-Mar-87  58,1
ST. LAURENT-B-1 PWR915EDF OperationalFRAM01-May-76 04-Jan-8121-Jan-81 01-Aug-83 90,8
ST. LAURENT-B-2PWR915 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-Jul-7612-May-81 01-Jun-8101-Aug-83  88
TRICASTIN-1 PWR915EDF OperationalFRAM01-Nov-74 21-Feb-8031-May-80 01-Dec-80 89,7
TRICASTIN-2PWR915 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-Dec-7422-Jul-80 07-Aug-8001-Dec-80  65,1
TRICASTIN-3 PWR915EDF OperationalFRAM01-Apr-75 29-Nov-8010-Feb-81 11-May-81 79,7
TRICASTIN-4PWR915 EDFOperationalFRAM 01-May-7531-May-81 12-Jun-8101-Nov-81  77,4
BUGEY-1GCR 540EDFShut Down VARIOUS01-Dec-65 21-Mar-7215-Apr-72 01-Jul-7227-May-94 
CHINON-A1GCR70 EDFShut DownLEVIVIER 01-Feb-5716-Sep-62 14-Jun-6301-Feb-64 16-Apr-73 
CHINON-A2GCR210 EDFShut DownLEVIVIER 01-Aug-5917-Aug-64 24-Feb-6524-Feb-65 14-Jun-85 
CHINON-A3GCR480 EDFShut DownGTM 01-Mar-6101-Mar-66 04-Aug-6604-Aug-66 15-Jun-90 
CHOOZ-A(ARDENNES)PWR310 SENAShut DownA/F/W 01-Jan-6218-Oct-66 03-Apr-6715-Apr-67 30-Oct-91 
CREYS-MALVILLE FBR 1200 NERSA Shut Down ASPALDO 13-Dec-76 07-Sep-85 14-Jan-86 01-Dec-86 31-Jul-98
EL-4 (MONTS D'ARREE)HWGCR 70EDFShut Down GAAA01-Jul-6223-Dec-66 09-Jul-6701-Jun-68 31-Jul-85 
G-2 (MARCOULE)GCR38 COGEMAShut DownSACM 01-Mar-5521-Jul-58 22-Apr-5922-Apr-59 02-Feb-80 
G-3 (MARCOULE)GCR38 COGEMAShut DownSACM 01-Mar-5611-Jun-59 04-Apr-6004-Apr-60 20-Jun-84 
PHENIXFBR130 CEA/EDFShut DownCNCLNEY 01-Nov-6831-Aug-73 13-Dec-7314-Jul-74 01-Feb-10 
ST. LAURENT-A1GCR480 EDFShut DownVARIOUS 01-Oct-6307-Jan-69 14-Mar-6901-Jun-69 18-Apr-90 
ST. LAURENT-A2GCR515 EDFShut DownVARIOUS 01-Jan-6604-Jul-71 09-Aug-7101-Nov-71 27-May-92 

Source: EDF and IAEA Power Reactor Information System.

2.3 Supply of NPPs

The leading company is AREVA NP (owned at 66% by AREVA and 34% by Siemens). It is associated to AREVA NC and AREVA T&D within AREVA group.

Historically the main companies in the nuclear plant construction industry were Framatome (now AREVA NP), which supplied the nuclear island, and Alstom for the conventional part. After Alcatel withdrawal from Framatome’s ownership, the decision was taken in 1999 to transfer most of its shares to Cogema (now AREVA NC) and CEA. In counterpart, Framatome took over Cogema’s activities in uranium fuel manufacturing.

2.4 Operation of NPPs

The electricity utility Electricité de France (EDF) operates all the French nuclear power plants. In 2009, nuclear plants have reached an availability factor of 78%.

2.5 Fuel Cycle and Waste Management

AREVA NC (ex COGEMA) controls most of the fuel cycle industry, with the exception of UO-fuel manufacturing (AREVA NP) and of radioactive waste management and disposal, run by the independent public agency ANDRA. AREVA NC is an industrial and commercial leader in all phases of the fuel cycle, including prospection and running of uranium mines, conversion (Comurhex), enrichment (Eurodif, SET), MOX-fuel fabrication (Melox), reprocessing and waste packaging.

2.6 Research and Development

In 1945 the French government created a national agency, the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA; Atomic Energy Commission), for the development of all aspects of atomic energy, including both civil and military applications. Although its responsibilities changed through time, particularly with the transfer of some industrial activities to newly created subsidiaries, CEA has retained most of its early activities and interests in mean and long term R&D, notably in reactor design, fuel concepts, enrichment, waste transmutation and disposal as well as in technology transfer and fundamental research.

The French R&D program on Future Nuclear Systems in the Generation IV framework is focused on two axes:

2.6.1. International Co-operation and Initiatives

2.7 Human resources development

The INSTN (Nuclear Techniques and Sciences National Institute -Institut National des Sciences et des Techniques Nucléaires) was created in 1956 by the CEA under the authority of the National Education Ministry and the Industry Ministry. Its main mission is to transmit CEA's know-how. It delivers academic diplomas (e.g. Masters), engineer diplomas, and welcome PhD students. It also offers continuous training. It is certified ISO 2001 and chairs the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN).


3.1 Safety Authority and the Licensing Process

Nuclear legislation in France has developed in successive stages in line with technological advances and growth in the atomic energy field. Therefore, many of the enactments governing nuclear activities are to be found in the general French legislation on environmental protection, water supply, atmospheric pollution, public health and labour.

However, the French Parliament has adopted a number of specific enactments. Examples include Act No. 68-493 (30 October 1968), setting special rules as to third party liability in the field of nuclear energy, which is distinct from the ordinary French law on third party liability, the 19 July 1952 Act, now embodied in the Public Health Code, specifying licensing requirements for the use of radioisotopes, Act No. 80-572 of 25 July 1980 on the protection and control of nuclear materials, and Act No. 91-1381 on the management of nuclear wastes. In June 2006 was adopted the Act 2006-686 on transparency and safety.

Although French nuclear law is characterized by its variety of sources, as in other countries where nuclear energy has developed, the original features of this legislation derive chiefly from international recommendations or regulations. For example, radiation protection standards are derived from the Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and Directives issued by the European Union (formerly the European Community). Likewise, the French Act of 1968 on the liability of nuclear operators is directly derived from the Paris Convention of 29 July 1960.

French nuclear legislation began to develop from the time the Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat à l'énergie atomique - CEA), the public agency set up by the State in 1945 [Ordinance No. 45-2563 of 18 October 1945] and formerly reporting directly to the prime minister, no longer held a monopoly for nuclear activities, in other words from the time nuclear energy applications entered the industrial stage, thus requiring the involvement of new nuclear operators. This development had several landmarks: in 1963, a system for licensing and controlling major nuclear installations was introduced, setting government responsibility in matters of population and occupational safety (Decree of 11 December 1963). Prior to this, procedures concerning the licensing and control of industrial activities were dealt with by the Préfet for each Département. In 1973, this system was expanded to cover the development of the nuclear power programme, and better define the role of government authorities. Finally, the decree of 20 June 1966 included Euratom Directives as part of the French radiation protection regulations.

In the course of the 1980’s, the enactments setting up the CEA were amended so as to strengthen its inter-ministerial status and a tripartite Board of Administration including staff representatives was created. However governmental decisions are prepared by the Atomic Energy Committee, which acts as a restricted inter-ministerial committee on nuclear energy matters. CEA is now answerable to the Minister for Industry, to the Minister for Research [Decrees No. 93-1272 of 1 December 1993 and No. 93-796 of 16 April 1993] and to the Minister of Defense. The main task of CEA was laid down in September 1992 by the Government: concentrate on developing the control of atom uses for purposes of energy, health, defence and industry, while remaining attentive to the requests made by its industrial and research partners. More specifically, the inter-ministerial committee of 1 June 1999 requested CEA to “strengthen long-term research on future reactors capable of reducing, and even eliminate the production of long-lived radio-active waste”. In addition CEA was given a particular responsibility for R&D on alternative and renewable energies.

The regulations for large nuclear installations, referred to above, have been supplemented with regard to procedures by an Instruction of 27 March 1973 and a Decision of the same date (amended by a Decision of 17 December 1976), which are internal instruments issued by the Minister for Industry. The authorities primarily involved in the licensing procedure for the setting up of large nuclear installations are the Minister for Industry and the Minister for Ecology and Sustainable Development. For this purpose, the Central Service for Nuclear Installations Safety (SCSIN), set up in 1973 within the Ministry of Industry, had been reshuffled as the Directorate for Nuclear Installations Safety (Direction de la Sûreté des Installations Nucléaires, DSIN).

In the beginning of 2002, the DGSNR (General Directorate for Nuclear Safety and Radioprotection) was created as a result of the merger of DSIN and the former Central Board for Protection against Ionizing Radiations (Office de Protection contre les rayonnements ionisants, OPRI). As a consequence, in addition to nuclear safety, DGSNR retained also the responsibilities of the former OPRI regarding radioprotection, ie carrying out measurements or analytical work in order to determine the level of radioactivity or ionizing radiation that might become hazardous to health in various environmental situations, for individuals as well as for the population as a whole. It also co-ordinated and defined controls for the radiation protection of workers and was involved in the safety plans to be put in action in case of radioactive incident. DGSNR reported to the Ministers for Industry, Health and Ecology and Sustainable Development. At the local level, DGSNR’s actions were relayed through the nuclear divisions of the Regional Directorates for Industry, Research and Environment (DRIRE). These Directorates are in charge of the survey of nuclear installations and monitoring reactor shutdowns and all pressurized components. They also provide technical support to the “préfet”, the Government local representative, in particular in case of accident.

DGSNR was assisted in decision making by the Institute for Radiation-Protection and Nuclear Safety (Institut de Radio-Protection et de Sûreté Nucléaire - IRSN), itself resulting from the merger of the former IPSN (Institut de Protection et de sûreté nucléaire) and part of the OPRI (Office de protection contre les rayonnements ionisants). The IRSN can also undertake studies or research on protection and nuclear safety problems on request of any concerned ministerial department or agency (Law n°2001-398 AFSSE of 9 May 2001).

In June 2006, the Act 2006-686 on transparency and safety created the Authority for Nuclear Safety (ASN-Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire). It is an independent administrative agency headed by 5 members designated by the President of the Republic and the Presidents of the two Parliament Assemblies. The agency is consulted before decisions concerning nuclear safety, nuclear security, and radioprotection are taken by decrees. It can also complete the legislation on technical matters but its decisions may be homologated by the Ministers in charge of these questions. The ASN also has the responsibility of:

3.2 Main National Laws and Regulations in Nuclear Power

3.2.1 Organization and structure

Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable development and sea (MEEDDM)

Nuclear safety authority

Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN)

National Agency for radioactive waste management (ANDRA)

Organization in the field of defence

3.2.2 Regulatory provisions for nuclear installations

Basic nuclear installations (installations nucléaires de base – INB)

Liquid and gaseous effluent release and water intake

Installations classified on environmental grounds (installations classées pour la protection de l’environnement – ICPE)

Nuclear installations classified as secret

Electricity public utility

3.2.3 Radiation Protection

Protection of public and environment

Protection of workers

Radiological emergency

3.2.4 Regulatory regime for radioactive materials

3.2.5 Radioactive waste management

3.2.6 Civil Liability


4.1 Energy Policy

Two main events regarding Energy policy happened in 2005-2006: the adoption of the 2005-781 Law on Energy, and the release of the report on investments “PPI” as stipulated in the Law 2000-108 on modernization and development of the public electricity service.

To reach these goals, four main ways are followed:

Also, an important stipulation of the law is that Greenhouse Gas emissions must be divided by four up to 2050.

Regarding nuclear energy, the report indicates that nuclear production through the existing plants is going to stabilize after having strongly increased last years.

The report must be presented and discussed by the Parliament, and followed by a decree from the government.

4.1.1 Privatization and deregulation

In the wake of successive legislations, the role of public authorities has changed.

The European directives on electricity market liberalization have been implemented in the French legislation through law n° 2000-108 of 10 February 2000 on the modernization and development of the public electricity service. This law states in its first article:

“The purpose of the public electricity service is to guarantee electricity supplies throughout the country, having due regard to general interest.

In the context of the energy policy, the public electricity service contributes to the independence and security of supply, air quality and combating the greenhouse effect, optimum management and development of national resources, control of demand for energy, economic competitiveness and control of technical choices for the future, as well as efficiency in energy use.

It furthers social cohesion, by ensuring the universal right to electricity, contributes to combating exclusion, a balanced spatial development, having due regard to the environment, research and technological progress as well as defence and public order.

The public electricity service shall be organized by the State and the local authorities or their public co-operation establishments, each for its part.”

It follows from this article that the government retains the responsibility of establishing objectives regarding security of energy supply or regional planning. In addition it remains responsible for defining and enforcing adherence to the rules within which the various market players must act. Of course, public authorities retain the traditional governmental activities such as preparation and development of regulations, energy taxation, public service obligations, personnel and installation safety, environment protection, in particular implementation of the European directives regarding greenhouse gases emissions and the share of renewable energies in electricity production. They also keep the general responsibility of insuring long term supply by supporting R&D efforts when private companies would not engage by themselves appropriate involvement. In addition, through the procedure of call for bids or the authorization required for the new production plants (decree n° 2000-877 of 7 September 2000), the government keeps the ability to set conditions for new power units, including the energetical, technical, economic, financial and geographical characteristics of the installation. (for instance regarding greenhouse gas emissions or other pollutants, long term supply stability or use of domestic energy resources), and thus influence the choice of the energy sources.

Regarding public service obligations, the law of 10 February 2000 has created a specific contribution (Contribution au service public de la production d’électricité, CSPE) intended for compensating the excess costs attributable to public service obligations (purchase obligation for green electricity, power production in non-connected zones such as overseas départements, etc.). This fund is supplied by the different electricity producers established in the French territory including auto-producers as well as by the electricity importers.

Regarding the European directive on renewable energy, France is due to raise the share of renewable electricity from the actual value of about 15% to 21%. To this aim, the hydro power availability being already used almost at full, special effort is made to increase the contribution of wind energy.

Since the 1st of July 2007, any company and household are actually free to choose their energy supplier on the French electricity market.

The public companies EDF and GDF, created in 1946, became limited liability companies the 19th of November 2004, according to the Act of August 9, 2004. This new legal form means that both companies were no longer bound by the "specialty principle" that was attached to their status of state-owned company (EPIC) since 1946. GDF increased its capital by 30% in June 2005 and merged with Suez in July 2008. EDF increased its capital by 30% in October 2005 (the law stipulates that the French State holds at least 70% of the capital and voting rights in EDF SA and GDF SA).

The other public companies are now widely open to the private sector: the coal fired plants operator SNET (Société Nationale d’Electricité et de Thermique) is now owned by E.ON, the company Energie du Rhône, that trades the electricity production of the hydropower stations of CNR (Compagnie Nationale du Rhône) is partly owned by Electrabel (GDF-Suez).

4.1.2 Safety and Waste Management issues

Nowadays, 84% of radioactive wastes volumes produced by French operators are subject to a long term management. The other ones are conditioned and stored before a final solution. Thus, the ANDRA (Agence Nationale pour la gestion des Déchets Radioactifs) manages existing storage facilities.

It entrusted the CEA with the first and third axes and ANDRA with the second. In 1999, the government approved the decision to create a laboratory on a clay site in Bure. The experimental area at – 490 m is operational since April 2005.

This law 91-1381 also specified that after 15 years of research (so, in 2006), the government might submit a draft law on nuclear wastes to the Parliament. The government organised a public debate that happened from September 2005 to January 2006 and then transmitted a draft law in March 2006. The Parliament modified and adopted the Law 2006-739 on “sustainable management of nuclear wastes and materials” the 28 June 2006.

The Law 2006-739 creates a National Plan of nuclear wastes management, and institutes a program to implement it. It shapes 3 main lines:

A National Commission must evaluate annually the progress of research. The building of a storage facility will be submitted to a Prime Minister decree by 2015 after examination of the project by the ASN and a public debate.

Furthermore, the Law 2006-739 specifies a framework on the financing and dismantling of nuclear facilities and wastes management in order to secure their provisioning. Utilities must constitute dedicated assets, and secure their availability.

A High Committee for Transparency and Information on Nuclear Security is created by the Law 2006-686 on transparency and safety of 13 June 2006. It must regularly organise debates on sustainable management of nuclear wastes.



and immunities

Voluntary offer: Agreement with the Entry into force: 12 September 1981

European Atomic Energy Community

for the application of safeguards in

France; INFCIRC No: 290

with the European Atomic Energy

Community for the application of

safeguards in France


INFCIRC/171 Entry into force: 22 September 1972

Modified 1990

INFCIRC/233 Entry into force: 22 September 1975

INFCIRC/239 Entry into force: 18 March 1976

governments of France and the

Republic of Iraq supplementary

to the Franco Iraqi co-operation

agreement for the peaceful utilization

of nuclear energy

INFCIRC/172/add.1 Entry into force: 4 November 1976

INFCIRC/244 Entry into force: 5 January 1977


nuclear material


nuclear accident


of a nuclear accident or radiological

emergency; INFCIRC/336

for nuclear damage

liability in the field of nuclear energy

of the Vienna and Paris conventions

spent fuel management and on the safety of radioactive waste management INFCIRC/546


of safeguards inspector

into account for own regulations;

compatible with national regulations.

(Letter of 9 August 1988)



Direction Générale de l’Energie et du Climat (DGEC), MEEDDM

Grande Arche de la Défense Paroi Nord F-92055 la Défense Cedex Tel: + 33 (0)1 40 90 20 00


Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et

aux énergies alternatives(CEA)

Saclay Tel.:+33 (0)1 69 08 60 00.

91191 Gif sur Yvette

Institut National des Sciences et Techniques

Nucléaires (INSTN, National Institute for

Nuclear Science and Technology;

also under the Ministry of Education)



6 place du colonel Bourguoin Tel.:+33 (0)1 40 19 86 00

F-75012 Paris

Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire Tel:+33 (0)1 58 35 88 88

(IRSN, Nuclear Safety and Radioprotection Institute) Fax:33 (0)1 58 35 84 51


F-92262 Fontenay-aux-Roses Cedex


77-83, avenue du Général-De-Gaulle F-92140 Clamart

Comité Interministériel de la Sécurité Nucléaire

13, rue de Bourgogne

F-75007 Paris Tel.:+33 (0)1 43 19 56 78

Agence Nationale pour la Gestion

des Déchets Radioactifs (ANDRA)

Parc de la Croix Blanche Tel.:+33 (0)1 46 11 80 00

1-7, rue Jean Monnet Fax:+33 (0)1 46 11 82 68

F-92298 Chatenay-Malabry Cedex


Electricité de France (EDF) Tel.:+33 (0)1 40 42 22 22

22 -30, avenue de Wagram Fax:+33 (0)1 40 42 13 32

F-75382 Paris Cedex 08

AREVA SA Tel:33 (0)1 34 96 00 00

33 rue Lafayette Fax:+33 (0)1 34 96 00 01

F-75 442 – Paris Cedex 09


33 rue Lafayette Tel.:+33 (0)1 34 96 00 00

Fax:+33 (0)1 34 96 00 01

F-75442 Paris Cedex 09


Tour AREVA Tel.: +33 (0)1 34 96 60 10

1 place Jean Milier

F-92084 Paris-La Défense Cedex


Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

European Synchrotron Radiation Facility – Grenoble


Institut National de Physique Nucléaire

et de Physique des Particules (IN2P3)

Laboratoire pour I'Utilisation du Rayonnement

Electromagnétique - CNRS (LURE)

Synchrotron SOLEIL

DRFC-CEA Cadarache

(Département de Recherches sur la Fusion Contrôlée)


European Science Foundation

European Space Agency (ESA)

IEA International Energy Agency

Nuclear Energy Agency of the OECD (NEA)

Organization for Economic Co-operation

and Development (OECD)


Société Française de l'Energie Nucléaire


World Council of Nuclear Workers (WONUC)


France _2010-CNPP.pdf