For the last 50 years, France has generated 75% of its electricity through nuclear power – the only country in the world to do so. This dependence is now sending the state-owned company EDF towards bankruptcy. The new French EPR reactor has experienced many completion delays in Flamanville, France, and in Finland. The costs keep on rising and France is now spending tens of billions in a bid to master this excessively complex technology. So why has France approved the construction of two more EPRs in the UK at Hinkley Point despite fierce opposition even within EDF? An increasing number of countries are phasing out nuclear power, we still do not know how to decommission plants at the end of their lifespan and the cost of renewables is constantly falling. France is finding itself increasingly isolated in its pro-nuclear choices. These choices weigh very heavily on the State’s budget and mean that France is lagging extremely behind in the energy transition. Who will pay the bill for nuclear energy? A film written et directed by Patrick Benquet
Those who champion nuclear energy view the world through an industry, the decline of which they refuse to acknowledge. The revolution of renewables underway in our societies is seen as an attack. They stubbornly maintain that nuclear power generates safer and cheaper electricity than all the other energy sources… Our film strives to demonstrate that not only is this argument wrong, but that it is concealing a disastrous financial reality: the bill that future generations will have to pay due to nuclear power is colossal. Each nuclear disaster (Chernobyl, Fukushima), by increasing the obligation for new safety measures, sends costs spiralling and results in the construction of prototypes such as the EPR, which is exorbitant and so technologically complicated that many engineers are now saying that it will never work.
Why we selected this film
This comprehensive report filmed in France, China, Germany, the UK and Japan explains the challenges facing the nuclear industry and the reasons why the French government is refusing to phase out nuclear power, despite warnings from experts. Interviews with EDF employees, who view the situation as insiders, highlight an extremely worrying state of affairs and ask us to consider the future of this particularly French industry.
Buy green energy
Depending on your region, you may have the option to purchase green energy.
This can be an important choice for the environment, as standard fossil fuel generated energy emits large amounts of greenhouse gases.
Nuclear power, on the other hand, creates highly toxic waste.
Wind turbines and photovoltaic panels, on the other hand, involve significantly less CO2 emissions. Photovoltaic panels, for example, can pay off their CO2 costs in green electricity generated in just three years.
12 tips for reducing your daily energy consumption
1. Keep your thermostat around 19 or 20C
2. Lower the thermostat to 16C at night or during extended absense
3. Keep your thermostat properly adjusted
4. Turn off the heat during summer or extended absense
5. Defrost your refridgerator and freezer regularly
6. Do your laundry at low temperatures
7. Choose "eco" cycles for washing machines and dishwashers
8. Avoid using a clothes dryer unnecessarily
9. Turn off electronics that aren't in use – avoid standby mode
10. Take a shorter shower
11. Cover the cookware
12. Clean the light fixtures
Adjust settings according to your needs
You can see serious energy savings by adapting your appliances according to your needs.
For example, a hallway doesn't need as strong of lighting as an office or reading room.
Place your living room lighting strategically according to where you are most often seated and in need of light. You can also reduce your energy needs by taking advantage of natural light sources.
Use renewable sources
Once your home is well-insulated and well-equipped, you can go even further by using renewable energy sources – at no cost!
Solar power can heat up to 60% of your daily hot water use or provide 40% of your daily electricity use. You can also capture heat from the soil by using a heat pump.
Insulating your home stabilizes your indoor temperature and protects you from outdoor temperature changes. It also reduces the need for heating and thereby reduces your enegy costs.
Investing in the energy efficiency of your home can help you reduce your energy costs by as much as 40%.
In adjoining buildings, heat generally escapes through the roof first, then through windows, walls and floors. Make insultaing your roof a priority.