The legalities of leaving nuclear: A French Nuclear Exit? (Part 4)

Source:Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
The legalities of leaving nuclear: A French Nuclear Exit? (Part 4)

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) has released its latest issue, “A French nuclear exit?,” featuring four comprehensive editorials on the complexities of a possible French nuclear phase-out.

In Part 4 of this five-part installment on PennEnergy.com, Paris-based environmental lawyer Alexandre Faro explores the current political consensus and the legalities surrounding a decision by France to exit the civilian nuclear power industry.

Part 1: An introduction: A French nuclear exit?

Part 2: Nuclear power and the French energy transition: It’s the economics, stupid!

Part 3: France’s great energy debate

Part 5: Nuclear chromosomes: The national security implications of a French nuclear exit

The legalities of leaving nuclear
By Alexandre Faro

The current political consensus favors continued reliance on civilian nuclear power in France, but a reduction in that reliance was discussed during the 2012 presidential election, and debate on that score continues. If the political consensus ever shifts toward a nuclear phase-out, the French government has several options through which it can reduce or abandon civilian nuclear power generation. The parliament can pass a law to discontinue nuclear power. The people can do the same, through referendum. Or the executive branch of government can simply not authorize the construction of new nuclear plants. If the parliament, the executive branch, or citizens acted to eliminate nuclear power, EDF, the operator of France’s 58 nuclear power plants, could seek compensation for lost revenue. The legal considerations involved in such an effort vary, depending on whether the nuclear shutdown were enacted into law or instituted through executive-branch regulation. Currently, it is unclear what chances of success a compensation claim might have. Over time, though, France will retire at least part of its aging fleet of nuclear reactors. The executive branch and parliament should pay careful attention to the structure of laws and regulations related to nuclear shutdowns, to reduce the likelihood that successful legal action will ensue.

The 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station has had a dynamic effect on nuclear countries around the world. While most nations rushed to subject their nuclear fleets to stress tests, hoping to assure citizens that plants were safe, other countries—including Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium—promised to close the book on nuclear energy for good. But for France, a country where 75 percent of electricity is fission-generated, can a nuclear exit be a realistic—and legally supportable—course of action?

Access the complete article here: The legalities of leaving nuclear

Part 1: An introduction: A French nuclear exit?

Part 2: Nuclear power and the French energy transition: It’s the economics, stupid!

Part 3: France’s great energy debate

Part 5: Nuclear chromosomes: The national security implications of a French nuclear exit

 

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs