“Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin and his colleagues with whom I met last week told me clearly that the French offer was being taken seriously with regard to the second location in the nuclear program,” said Philippe Crouzet, the French government representative for civil nuclear cooperation with Poland, in an interview with BiznesAlert.pl.
BiznesAlert.pl: What was the purpose of your visit in February?
Philippe Crouzet: The purpose of my visit to Warsaw last week was to meet with government representatives and confirm the French government’s support for EDF’s offer as part of the Polish Nuclear Energy Program (PPEJ).
Will theEDF technology be used as part of the PPEJ?
EDF, with the support of the French government, is proposing an integrated offer under this program. This means that EDF’s offer includes not only technology, i.e. the 100% European EPR, but also engineering, component delivery, reactor construction and commissioning, as well as other support services. Only EDF, as an integrated nuclear operator and a leading designer and equipment manufacturer, can make such an offer. With such an offer, EDF can make it possible for the Polish government to accelerate the implementation of the nuclear program, increase its scale and achieve the goals of climate policy and energy sovereignty. EDF has designed, built and operates nearly half of Europe’s nuclear power generation capacity and is the only player building nuclear power plants on the continent, in France and the UK. Poland will also benefit from a confirmed plan to build new reactors in France and a pipeline of projects in Europe. Poland and its supply chain could benefit from the unique perspective offered by the EPR technology as part of its program. We believe that France, as the only potential supplier of large reactors that has pledged to invest in its own technology for its own needs, is the best long-term partner for PPEJ. That is why, I think, Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin and his colleagues, with whom I met last week, made it clear to me that the French offer was being taken seriously with regard to the second location as specified in the PPEJ.
What are the prospects for other French companies in Poland, especially in the nuclear fuel sector?
It should be emphasized that the French industry, companies like Orano or Framatome, have mastered the entire cycle of nuclear fuel, whether open or closed, from mines to fuel recycling. The French approach is based on the security of fuel supply through diversification and fully European industrial capacity. This approach is fully consistent with the objectives of European energy sovereignty, which we share with Poland. You can also benefit from this approach by participating in the French offer for cooperation and implementation of the nuclear program.
How do you view Europe’s dependence on Russian nuclear fuel and what should be done about it?
In order to ensure the security of fuel supply to nuclear power plants, EDF maximizes the geographical diversification of sources and suppliers. Specifically, this means that France does not dependent on any single mining area, company or country to ensure the security of its nuclear fuel supply. We do not disclose details, but we follow the policy established by the EURATOM agency, which oversees the European supply of nuclear materials. With regard to nuclear fuel from Russia, countries with Russian reactor technology still depend on this source. We believe that it is possible to reduce and even eliminate this dependence, but it will take several years. French companies Framatome and Orano have already signed contracts to supply fuel to Finland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to replace Russian fuel for their WWER reactors. It’s a path to follow, but again, it takes time. It is worth recalling that it is not only European countries that rely partly on nuclear fuel from Russia. Americans and Asians,do too, but you have to look more closely at the data to see this, because no agency collects it.
Interview by Wojciech Jakóbik