The first nuclear plant in France was built by the EDF in 1962. Then the 1972 oil crisis put a rocket under the industry. So Prime Minister Pierre Messmer came up with a plan to build an unbelievable 170 nuclear plants by 2000.
By the mid 1980s it was clear that would not happen, but not for the reasons you might think. The problem was not that they weren’t building plants fast enough, but that they were building them too fast. Demand wasn’t rising fast enough to keep up. The plants are most efficient running at 80-90% but by 1988 there were so many plants the capacity factor of France’s nuclear power stations was only running at 60%. There was too much generation to run them efficiently.
Back in 2007 at least a few people still remembered that golden era. Here’s Dr Ziggy Switkowski, who at the time was head of the Prime Minister’s nuclear task force:
The French in 15 years went from zero reactors to 59 reactors and 80% of their electricity is nuclear. — ABC
Now we don’t even dream of success. If we had started in 2007, Australia could have had ten plants finished already.
Australia 2022: Hot to get to zero carbon emissions by 2050, with no nuclear power. Doubly stupid. By the way, where’s that due diligence report checking the climate models? What do you mean there isn’t one?