1. GENERAL INFORMATION
1.1. Country overview
1.1.1. Governmental System
The governmental system is organised in different ministries. The energy sector is managed within the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE), in particular in the General Division for Energy and Climate (DGEC)
It defines and implements the energy and supply of mineral raw materials policies of France. In these sectors, tasks can be grouped into six areas:
the opening of energy markets, including electricity and gas,
the monitoring in key sectors of energy and raw materials,
the supervision of public enterprises and institutions,
controls and state missions,
work at international and European level,
1.1.2. 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 12ºC. Precipitation is evenly distributed, averaging about 760 mm annually.
The total population is about 66.1 million at the beginning of 2013 and the population density around 121 inhabitants per km2 (Table 1). Population growth rate has been around 0.7% per annum in the last thirteen years.
TABLE 1. POPULATION INFORMATION
|Average annual growth rate (%)|
|Year||1970||1980||1990||2000||2005||2010||2013||2000 to 2013|
|Population density (inhabitants/km²)||95||101||106||112||114||119||121||0.6|
|Urban Population as % of total||71||73||74||77||82||85||87||1.0|
|Area (1000 km²)||551||551||551||551||551||551||551||-|
Source: INSEE, AIE
1.1.4. Economic Data
Average GDP growth in France was 1.5% between 2005 and 2010 (in constant prices). This value was only 0.8% between 2010 and 2011 because of the economic crisis.
Table 2 shows the historical trend of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in current prices.
TABLE 2. GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP)
|Average annual growth rate (%)|
|1980||1990||2000||2005||2010||2011||2000 to 2011|
|GDP (billions of current US$)||691||1,248||1,332||2,138||2,563||2,773||6.3|
|GDP (billions of constant 2000 US$)||862||1,089||1,322||1,387||1,494||1,506||1.1|
|GDP per capita (PPP* US$/capita)||9,989||18,184||25,978||30,413||33,909||35,246||2.6|
|GDP per capita (current US$/capita)||12,858||22,007||22,550||35,026||38,815||41,951||5.3|
* PPP: Purchasing Power Parity
Source: Perspective Monde
1.2. Energy Information
1.2.1. Estimated available energy
TABLE 3. ESTIMATED AVAILABLE ENERGY SOURCES
|Estimated available energy sources|
|Total amount in specific units*||0||13.6||21.3||NA||70000 GWh||0.01|
* Solid, Liquid: Million tons; Gas: Billion m3; Uranium: Metric tons; Hydro, Renewable: TW
1.2.2. Energy Statistics
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’s vulnerability to the volatility of fossil fuel international markets and to meet the Kyoto commitments.
Table 4 provides statistical data on energy and electricity supply and demand between 1971 and 2010. It illustrates the long term increase of nuclear power in primary electricity production to improve French energy independence. Since 1973, primary energy consumption underwent a regular increase, though much slighter in recent years, and decreasing (-0.13%) 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 rise 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.
TABLE 4. ENERGY STATISTICS
|Average annual growth rate (%)|
|1971||1980||1990||2000||2005||2011*||2000 to 2010|
|Net import (Import - Export)||4.9||6.2||5.0||5.6||6||5.5||-0.07|
* Latest available data
** Energy consumption = Primary energy consumption + Net import (Import - Export) of secondary energy.
*** Solid fuels include coal, lignite
Source: AIE, CGDD
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 fuel cycle. Increased awareness of environmental constraints is reflected in the French energy mix, aiming to reduce the negative impacts of energy production on health and environment. In this regard, substitution of fossil fuel power by nuclear for electricity generation resulted in a drastic reduction of atmospheric emissions from the energy sector.
1.2.3. Energy policy
See sections 1.2.2, 1.3.1 and 2.3.1.
1.3. The electricity system
1.3.1. Electricity policy and decision making process
The General Directorate for Energy and Climate (DGEC), under the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE) is in charge of implementing the French government policy on energy within the framework of the European directives. The Minister of MEDDE 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. The 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 electric power 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 other main 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.
TABLE 5. ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION, CONSUMPTION AND CAPACITY
|Average annual growth rate (%)|
|1974||1980||1990||2000||2005||2012||2000 to 2012|
|Gross capacity of electric plants (GWe)|
|- other renewable||0.24||0.24||0.24||0.25||0.25||4.9||28|
|Gross electricity production (TWh)||1971||1980||1990||2000||2005||2011||2000 to 2011|
|- other renewable||0.7||0.5||0.6||0.6||0.5||2||11.6|
|- Total (1)||160||258||420||541||576||563||0.36|
|Total Electricity consumption (TWh)||144||244||348||441||482||472||0.62|
(1) Electricity transmission losses are not deducted.
Source: RTE, CGDD
TABLE 6. ENERGY RELATED RATIOS
|Energy consumption per capita (GJ/capita)||146||146||163||180||184||172|
|Electricity consumption per capita (kWh/capita)||3,076||4,204||5,558||6,758||7,395||7,800|
|Electricity production/Energy production (%)||18||42||78||86||89||85|
|Nuclear/Total electricity (%)||8||24||75||77||79||75|
|Ratio of external dependency (%) (1)||76||73||50||50||50||49|
(1) Net import / Total energy consumption.
* Latest available data
Source: AIE, CGDD
2. NUCLEAR POWER SITUATION
2.1. Historical development and current organizational structure
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 1,500 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 into the AREVA group and is 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 2007, the construction of the first GEN IV reactor, ASTRID, in Marcoule, was decided and planned for 2020.
2.1.2. Current organizational chart(s)
Nuclear Power organizational Chart
|DGEC (General Directorate for Energy and Climate)|
|French Safety Authority (Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire - ASN)|
|IRSN (Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Institute)|
|CEA (Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission)|
|EDF (Electricité de France)|
|Georges Besse II |
|AREVA NP (UO), AREVA NC (MOX)|
2.2. Nuclear power plants: Overview
2.2.1. Status and performance of nuclear power plants
Source : DGEC
FIG 1. Location of nuclear power plants in France.
Nuclear power in the French electricity supply system amounts to 63,130 MWe. It consists of fifty-eight PWRs (thirty four 900 MWe, twenty 1300 MWe, and four 1500 MWe). One new EPR reactor is under construction at Flamanville. The EDF policy is to act as architect-engineer-operator, in order to master the design and improvement of plants along their operational life, by the integration of R&D, engineering and operating resources and benefiting of extensive experience feedback.
All the EDF NPPs undergo a systematic experience feedback process and every ten years a comprehensive periodic safety reassessment process, under the control of French ASN. It enables to assess compliance with the licensing basis and up to date safety standards and to implement improvements as necessary, in order to sustain the EDF long term operation programme. After the Fukushima accident, a complementary safety assessment was performed, which enabled confirmation of the current level of safety with adequate margins regarding external hazards (earthquake, flooding, etc.) and resulted in additional provisions to cope with extreme hazards (fast action force, implementation of a hardened safety core, etc.). This process is described in detail in the reports presented at the Nuclear Safety Convention meetings (published on the ASN website). In 2012, the nuclear plants accounted for 404,9 TWh (over 74% of total French electricity production), making France the world’s second largest nuclear power producer and the average plant availability amounted to 79,7 % (top ten 91 to 99,5%). Table 7 lists the status of the power plants as of year-end 2012.
TABLE 7. STATUS AND PERFORMANCE OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
|CHOOZ-A (ARDENNES)||PWR||305||Permanent Shutdown||SENA||A/F/W||1962-01-01||1966-10-18||1967-04-03||1967-04-15||1991-10-30|
|EL-4 (MONTS D'ARREE)||HWGCR||70||Permanent Shutdown||EDF||GAAA||1962-07-01||1966-12-23||1967-07-09||1968-06-01||1985-07-31|
|G-2 (MARCOULE)||GCR||39||Permanent Shutdown||COGEMA||SACM||1955-03-01||1958-07-21||1959-04-22||1959-04-22||1980-02-02|
|G-3 (MARCOULE)||GCR||40||Permanent Shutdown||COGEMA||SACM||1956-03-01||1959-06-11||1960-04-04||1960-04-04||1984-06-20|
|ST. LAURENT-A1||GCR||390||Permanent Shutdown||EDF||FRAM||1963-10-01||1969-01-07||1969-03-14||1969-06-01||1990-04-18|
|ST. LAURENT-A2||GCR||465||Permanent Shutdown||EDF||FRAM||1966-01-01||1971-07-04||1971-08-09||1971-11-01||1992-05-27|
|Data source: IAEA - Power Reactor Information System|
Source: EDF and IAEA Power Reactor Information System.
2.3. Future development of Nuclear Power
2.3.1. Nuclear power development strategy
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.
Law 2005-781 "energy orientation law" has been adopted by the Parliament on 13 July, 2005. It indicates the four main goals of the French energy policy:
Contributing to energy independence and guaranteeing the security of supply
Ensuring a competitive price of energy
Preserving human health and the environment
Guaranteeing the social and territorial cohesion.
To reach these goals, four main paths are followed:
Controlling energy demand (by tax incentives, certification, etc.)
Diversifying the energy portfolio; the law stipulates that the State may have a GEN IV reactor by 2015 in order to eventually replace French nuclear plants, and that 10% of energy needs may be satisfied with renewables by 2010. The site of Flamanville has been chosen by EDF in March 2006 to host the demonstrator EPR, after the National Commission of Public Debate organized a debate on the subject from October 2005 to February 2006 and released a report on April 2006.
Developing Research and Innovation in the energy sector; for this purpose, two new agencies, the National Agency for Research -ANR- and the Industrial Innovation Agency -AII- have been created.
Ensuring the availability of transportation and storage facilities to respond to needs.
Also, an important stipulation of the law is that Greenhouse Gas emissions must be four times less by 2050.
Law 2000-108 on modernization and development of the public electricity service of 10 February, 2000 stipulates that a report on medium-term power generation capacity investments planning (PPI) must be prepared by the energy Ministry. The last report on PPI was officially released by the Government in 2008 and concerns the period 2009-2020. It identifies the following evolutions:
Energy savings may be at the heart of any energy scenario, respecting the Law 2005-781 on energy.
A share of renewable energy sources (including hydro) of 23% is targeted for 2020, mainly with on-shore and offshore wind energy. 25 GWe by 2020 of wind capacity are targeted. Hydro may at least be maintained at its current level and could be developed until it produces 7 TWh more at most. Biomass may be developed up to a level of 2.3 TWh.
To answer the evolution of the reglementary framework on thermal capacities over the 2009-2020 period that may lead to the shutdown of more than half the coal-fired plants capacity, 5.2 GWe of thermal plants may be constructed (2.6 GWe in semi base-load and 2.6 GWe in peak-load) by 2015, among which 0.8 GWe by 2009. Also, 2.6 GWe of old oil-fuelled plants may be modernized by EDF to re–enter into operation
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. 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. 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 energetic, 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, Law nº 2000-108 has created a specific contribution (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, with hydro power availability almost fully used, 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 on 19th 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).
2.4. Organizations involved in construction of NPPs
See section 2.2.1.
2.5. Organizations involved in operation of NPPs
See section 2.2.1.
2.6. Organizations involved in decommissioning of NPPs
To date, 85% of the volume of radioactive waste generated by French operators is covered by effective long-term management measures. The remaining 15% of waste is packaged and placed in temporary storage pending final disposal (either in surface facilities or in deep geological repositories). Accordingly, the National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (Andra) manages existing storage facilities and conducts research into the deep geological disposal of long-lived high level wastes (HLW-LL). In 2009, it published its latest national inventory of radioactive wastes and recyclable materials.
Very low level wastes (VLLW) are stored at the Morvillers site (Aube), which is designed to accommodate 650 000 m3 of waste over the next 30 years and which opened in the summer of 2003.
Short-lived low and intermediate level wastes (LILW-SL) are stored at the Soulaines-Dhuys site (Aube). The Manche storage centre has no longer been receiving waste consignments since 1994. It entered into an active surveillance phase in 2003, with very active surveillance until 2013.
Long-lived low level wastes (LLW-LL) must be disposed of in shallow repositories. The search for a shallow-depth storage facility has been underway since 2008. Long-lived high and intermediate level wastes (HILW-LL) are subject to specific legislation, namely Law No. 2006-739 of 28 June, 2006 on the programme for the long-term management of radioactive materials and wastes. This Law follows on from that of 30 December 1991 (Bataille Law). It provides, inter alia, for research into the long-term management of HILW-LL waste by setting out three main lines of research:
1 – Advanced separation and transmutation
These research projects are conducted by the French Atomic and Alternative Energies Commission. The main achievements in 2009 concerned the consolidation of the Ganex process for the overall extraction of all actinides as well as the development of an outline process aimed at the recovery solely of Americium, the main contributor to long-term radiotoxicity and to the thermal loading of waste containers. The ExAm (extraction of Americium) process was successfully tested in 2009 in the Atalante L17 laboratory in Marcoule. A large quantity of Americium was recovered (>97%), resulting in a decontamination factor significantly higher than 1 000.
2 - Deep geological disposal
Research into the deep geological disposal of long-lived high level wastes is carried out under the aegis of Andra in the underground laboratory in the Meuse/Haute-Marne (Bure). The trial zone at a depth of 490 m has been operational since April, 2005. At the end of 2009, the laboratory had around 800 metres of underground galleries, all fitted with instrumentation.
A 30 km2 area of interest was officially proposed in 2009. The application for construction of a storage facility within this area will be submitted by Andra for review and approval by 2015. A permit for construction of the facility will then be granted by a Decree issued by the Prime Minister, with a view to the facility entering into service by 2015, after completing a procedure set out in the legislation which consists on seeking opinions from the Nuclear Safety Authority, the National Evaluation Committee, Parliament and the local authorities concerned, as well as a consultation and public enquiry. In addition, the opening of the facility is subject to adoption of a Law setting out the conditions for the reversibility of disposal.
3 – Temporary storage
The studies and research conducted by Andra are aimed at creating, between now and 2015, new temporary storage facilities or the modification of existing facilities in order to meet planned requirements.
The 2006 programme law also provides for the financing of the three avenues of research described above. In particular, it provides for a system of taxes on nuclear installations. Furthermore, the Law secures the financing for long-term nuclear charges by establishing a specific regime applicable to the securing of the reserves which operators must put in place to meet their long-term charges.
A High Committee for Transparency and Information on Nuclear Security is created by Law 2006-686 on transparency and safety of 13 June, 2006. It must regularly organise debates on sustainable management of nuclear wastes.
2.7. Fuel cycle including waste management and organizations involved
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 (SET), MOX-fuel fabrication (Melox), reprocessing and waste packaging.
2.8. Research and development
2.8.1. R&D organizations
In 1945, the French government created a national agency, the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA), 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 CEA has joined the GIF (Generation IV International Forum) R&D programme to study promising technologies for future nuclear energy systems, addressing in the first place the issues of enhanced safety, sustainability, non-proliferation and economics, and is committed to realize a “Fourth Generation” prototype by 2020.
The French R&D program on Future Nuclear Systems in the Generation IV framework is focused on fast reactor designs and advanced fuel cycles:
French nuclear actors and potential industrial nuclear heat users are involved in the European « Sustainable Nuclear Energy Research » technological platform.
In June 2005, the site of Cadarache (France) was officially chosen to welcome ITER (International Thermoreactor Experimental Reactor). The construction has started.
The construction of the new experimental fission reactor (100 MWth) called Jules Horowitz was started in 2007. It will be used for experiments on nuclear materials and fuels and production of medical radio-isotopes. The reactor is due to enter into service in 2015
2.8.2. Development of advanced nuclear technologies
France has given priority to the development of sodium-cooled reactor technology, on which it has already acquired substantial experience and know-how.
The gas-cooled fast breeder reactor (RNR-G) is the alternative long-term technology. The aim is to demonstrate its feasibility as part of a European collaborative project with a view to possible deployment by 2040-2080.
2.8.3. International co-operation and initiatives
France is member of several international organizations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It participates in other bilateral and multilateral organizations such as the World Association of Nuclear Operators, with EDF as member.
France also participates in INPRO, the IAEA project bringing together developers and potential users of future nuclear technologies (or innovative nuclear systems).
As mentioned above, France is also member of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF), the international collective of 12 countries (+ Euratom) dedicated to the development of the next generation of nuclear reactors and fuel cycle technologies.
France participates also to IFNEC, the partnership of countries aiming to improve the proliferation-resistance of the nuclear fuel cycle while guaranteeing access to fuel supplies
France participates in the Multinational Design Evaluation Program (MDEP),
a multinational initiative which aims to pool the knowledge of the safety regulators with statutory responsibility for evaluating new reactors.
2.9. 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 welcomes PhD students. It also offers continuous training. It is ISO 2001 certified and chairs the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN).
The International Institute of Nuclear Energy (I2EN) was created in 2010. Its mission is to provide to foreign partners of France the best training solutions for human resources development in nuclear energy
2.10. Stakeholder communication
No information provided.
3. NATIONAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS
3.1. Regulatory framework
3.1.1. Regulatory authority(s)
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; Act No. 91-1381 on the management of nuclear wastes. In June 2006, Act 2006-686 on transparency and safety was adopted.
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 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 CEA, 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 on 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 setting up 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 (DSIN).
In the beginning of 2002, the DGSNR 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 also retained the responsibilities of the former OPRI regarding radioprotection, i.e. 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 a 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. 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 ASN. 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:
Organizing and directing the control of nuclear installations (designation of inspectors, delivery of permits etc.).
Monitoring radioprotection over the national territory.
Proposing and organizing public information on nuclear safety.
Establishing the procedures for licensing large nuclear installations (licenses for setting up, commissioning, disposal, etc.).
Helping the management of emergency situation in the event of an accident involving radioactive exposures.
3.1.2. Licensing Process
3.2. Main national laws and regulations in nuclear power
Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable development and Energy (MEDDE)
General Direction for Energy and Climate (DGEC)
General Direction for Risk Prevention (DGPR) /Mission for Nuclear Safety and Radioprotection (MSNR)
Decree n° 2008-680 of 9 July 2008, as amended, on the organization of the central administration of the Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Territorial Planning.
Ordinance of 9 July 2008, as amended, on the organization of the central administration of the Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Territorial Planning.
Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission – Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA)
Code of Research, Legislative Part, Book III, Title III, Chapter II : Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives -Articles L. 332-1 to L. 332-7 (Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission).
Ordinance n° 45-2563 of 18 October 1945, as amended, creating an alternative energies and atomic energy commission.
Decree n° 70-878 of 29 September 1970, as amended, related to the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique (Atomic Energy Commission).
Decree n° 72-1158 of 14 December 1972, as amended, implementing decree 70-878 related to the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique (Atomic Energy Commission).
Law of 9 March 2010 (2010-237): new name for the CEA, as Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission).
Nuclear Safety Authority – Autorité de sûreté nucléaire (ASN)
Environmental Code, Legislative Part, Book V, Title IX, Chapter II : The Nuclear Safety Authority -Articles L. 592-1 to L. 592-40 (provisions from the Law n° 2006-686 of 13 June 2006 on nuclear transparency and safety).
Ordinance of 15 December 2006 approving the rules of the Nuclear Safety Authority.
Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety – Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire (IRSN)
Law n° 2001-398 of 9 May 2001 establishing the French environmental safety agency (article 5 creating the Institute for radiation protection and nuclear safety).
Decree n° 2002-254 of 22 February 2002 related to the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety.
National Radioactive Waste Management Agency – Agence nationale pour la gestion des déchets radioactifs (ANDRA)
Environmental Code, Legislative Part, Book V, Title IV, Chapter II, art. L. 542-12.
Environmental Code, Regulatory Part, Book V, Title IV, Chapter II, Section 1 – Articles R. 542-1 to R. 542-19,
Organization in the field of defence
Defence Code, Regulatory Part, Part 1, Book IV, Title I, Chapter II : the Delegate for Nuclear Safety and. Radiation Protection for National Defence Installations and Activities (DSND) – Articles R*. 1412-1 to R*. 1412-6.
Defence Code, Regulatory Part, Part 1, Book I, Title III, Chapter II : the General Secretary for National Defence and Security (SGDN) – Articles R*. 1132-1 to D. 1132-6.
Decree n° n° 2009-1180 of 5 October 2009 determining the competence and the organization of the General Delegation for Armament (DGA).
Defence Code, Regulatory Part, Part 1, Book I, Title III, Chapter II, Section III, Sub-section 6 : the Interministerial Committee for Nuclear or Radiological crisis – Article D. 1132-54..
Regulatory provisions for nuclear installations
Basic nuclear installations (installations nucléaires de base – INB)
Environmental Code, Legislative Part, Book V, Title IX : The Nuclear security and the basic nuclear installations -Articles L. 591-1 to L. 597-46.
Environmental Code, Legislative Part, Book I, Title II, Chapter V, Section 2 : Provisions concerning information specific to nuclear activities – Articles L. 125-1 to L. 125-40.
Decree n° 2007-1557 of 2 November 2007 concerning basic nuclear installations and the supervision of the transport of radioactive materials with respect to nuclear safety.
Decree n° 2007-830 of 11 May 2007 on the nomenclature of basic nuclear installations.
Ministerial order of 7 February 2012 laying down general rules for the basic nuclear installations.
Installations classified on environmental protection grounds (installations classées pour la protection de l’environnement – ICPE)
Environmental Code, Legislative Part, Book V, Title I : the installations classified on environmental protection grounds - Articles L. 511-1 to L. 517-2.
Environmental Code, Regulatory Part, Book V, Title I : the installations classified on environmental protection grounds – Articles R. 511-9 to R. 517-10.
Electricity public utility
Energy Code, Legislative Part, Book III : Provisions on electricity – Articles L. 311-1 to L. 362-5.
Protection of public and environment
Public Health Code, Legislative Part, Part I, Book III, Title III, Chapter III : Ionizing radiation - Articles L. 1333-1 to L. 1333-20 and Chapter VI : Penalties - Articles L. 1336-5 to L. 1336-9.
Public Health Code, Regulatory Part, Part I, Book III, Title III, Chapter III : Ionizing radiation - Articles R. 1333-1 to R. 1333-93.
Ministerial Order of 27 June 2005 related to the national network for collection of environment radioactivity measurements.
Protection of workers
Labor Code, Legislative Part, Part IV, Book IV, Title IV, Chapter I : Prevention of risks of exposure to ionizing radiations – Articles L. 4451-1 and L. 4451-2.
Labor Code, Regulatory Part, Part IV, Book IV, Title IV, Chapter I : Prevention of risks of exposure to ionizing radiations – Articles R. 4451-1 to R. 4451-144.
Decree n° 75-306 of 28 April 1975, as amended, relating to protection of workers in basic nuclear installations.
Public Health Code, Regulatory Part, Part I, Book III, Title III, Chapter III, Section VI : Radiological emergency and long-term exposure to ionizing radiation – Articles R. 1333-75 to R. 1333-94.
Ministerial Order of 20 December 2002 establishing the national reference guide on radiological hazards.
Ministerial Order of 20 November 2009 approving the decision n° 2009-DC-0153 of the Nuclear Safety Authority of 18 August 2009 on Intervention Levels in case of a Radiological Emergency .
Inter-ministerial Instruction of 7 April 2005 on the actions of the administration in case of an event leading to a radiological emergency situation.
Ministerial Order of 4 November 2005 relating to information of populations in case of radiological emergency situations.
Inter-ministerial Instruction of 29 November 2005 on the implementation and processing of measurements of radioactivity in the environment in case of an event leading to a radiological emergency situation.
Regulatory regime for radioactive materials
Defence Code, Legislative Part, Part I, Book II, Title III, Chapter III : nuclear materials and installations - Articles L. 1333-1 to L. 1333-14.
Defence Code, Regulatory Part, Part I, Book II, Title III, Chapter III : nuclear materials and installations - Articles R. 1333-1 to R. 1333-78.
Inter-ministerial Instruction of 28 March 1977 instituting the assistance regime for uranium prospecting.
Ministerial Order of 24 September 1996 setting the conditions for the assignment of nuclear materials to military use.
Ministerial Order of 26 January 2004 concerning protection of national defence secrecy in the field of protection and control of nuclear materials, implementing decree n° 98-608 of 17 July 1998 concerning protection of national Defence secrecy.
Circular of 26 January 2004 implementing Ministerial Order of 26 January 2004 concerning protection of national defence secret in the field of protection and control of nuclear materials.
Ministerial Order of 18 August 2010 concerning the protection and control oh the nuclear materials during transport.
Ministerial Order of 31 May 2011 concerning monitoring, accounting and physical protection measures applicable to nuclear material subject to a declaration as well as the form and terms of the declaration.
Ministerial Order of 9 June 2011 laying down the conditions for implementation of the physical monitoring and accounting of nuclear materials whose detention is subject to a licence.
Ministerial Order of 10 June 2011 concerning the physical protection of the installations housing nuclear materials whose detention is subject to a licence.
Ministerial Order of 5 August 2011 concerning the terms and form of the licence required by the article L. 1333-2 of the defence Code.
Radioactive waste management
Environmental Code, Legislative Part, Book V, Title IV, Chapter II : Specific provisions for the Sustainable Management of the Radioactive Materials and Waste - Articles L. 542-1 to L. 542-14.
Law n° 2000-174 of 4 March 2000 authorizing the approval of the Joint Convention on the safety of spent fuel management and on the safety of radioactive waste management.
Planning Law n° 2006-739 of 28 June 2006 concerning the Sustainable Management of Radioactive Materials and Waste.
Environmental Code, Legislative Part, Book V, Title IV, Chapter II : Specific provisions for the Sustainable Management of the Radioactive Materials and Waste - Articles R. 542-1 to R. 542-73.
Decree of 3 August 1999, as amended, licensing Andra to implement and operate on the territory of Bure an underground laboratory to study deep geological formations in which radioactive waste could be stored.
Environmental Code, Legislative Part, Book V, Title IX, Chapter VII : Provisions applicable to the Civil Liability in the field of Nuclear Energy.
Decree n° 69-154 of 6 February 1969 related to the publication of the Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy of 29 July 1960, as amended by the Additional Protocol of 28 January 1964 and by the Protocol of 16 November 1982 (Paris Convention).
Decree n° 94-308 of 14 April 1994 related to the publication of the Convention of 31st January 1963 Supplementary to the Paris Convention of 29th July 1960, as amended by the additional Protocol of 28th January 1964 and by the Protocol of 16th November 1982 (Brussels Convention).
Insurance Code, Legislative Part., Book IV, Title III- Chapter I : Extraordinary and nuclear risks - Articles L. 431-4 to L. 431-7.
Insurance Code, Regulatory Part., Book IV, Title III, Chapter I : Exceptional and nuclear risks - Articles R. 431-27 to R. 431-29.
Insurance Code, Regulatory Part, Book III, Title III, Chapter I : Technical provisions of others insurance operations, art. R. 331-6.
Decisions of 27 October 1977 concerning exclusion of small quantities of nuclear substances out of nuclear civil liability Convention, from the AEN Committee of Directors.
Decree n° 91-355 of 12 April 1991 implementing article 4 of Law 68-943 of 30 October 1968 defining the characteristics of reduced risks installations.
Law n° 98-217 of 27 March 1998 authorizing the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
APPENDIX 1: INTERNATIONAL, MULTILATERAL AND BILATERAL AGREEMENTS