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France: nuclear decommissioning export opportunities

Market opportunity: Nuclear decommissioning

Key details

Opportunity: Nuclear decommissioning

Country: France

Sector: Energy


In France, 70% of electricity is produced by nuclear sources. The country has a total of 58 nuclear reactors, localised in 19 sites.

The French government has announced plans to decrease the use of nuclear power, with an aim to reduce nuclear's share of total electricity production to 50% by 2035. This is part of a countrywide push for the development of more renewable energy sources.

The decommissioning of nuclear plants represents a significant market opportunity - especially considering that a total of 14 pressurised water reactors (REP) of 900MW will be shut down by 2035. This includes reactors at a Fessenheim site that stopped its activity in 2020.

The 14 reactors set to be decommissioned by 2030 and 2050 represent a market potential of €6 billion Euros and €20 billion Euros respectively.

Scale of opportunity

The French multinational electric utility company EDF estimates the total cost for decommissioning will be between €300 million Euros and €350 million Euros for a site with four pressurised water reactors producing 900MW. 56 out of France's 58 reactors are pressurised water reactors.

The estimated decommissioning costs are broken down as follows:

  • Site (8%) - around €26 million Euros
  • Decommissioning excluding primary circuit (20%) - around €65 million Euros
  • Decommissioning of the primary circuit (18%) - around €58.5 million Euros
  • Waste management (14%) - around €45.5 million Euros
  • Conventional demolition (11%) - around €35.75 million Euros
  • Sanitation (10%) - around €32.5 million Euros
  • Final shut down (10%) - around €32.5 million Euros
  • Engineering (9%) - around €29.25 million Euros

For more information, you can watch a presentation from Scottish Development International about France's nuclear decommissioning market opportunities on YouTube

Eligible companies

This opportunity is open to:

  • Companies already involved in the construction of nuclear power plants
  • Oil and gas (O&G) companies looking to diversify
  • O&G companies involved in decommissioning activities that can bring their experience to the French nuclear industry
  • Technology companies that can provide innovative solutions for the decommissioning of nuclear sites, including (but not limited to) digitalisation of assets, innovative project management and treatment of radioactive waste

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Register your interest

Register your interest

Get in touch with our in-market specialists to find out more about this export opportunity.