You can share an article by clicking on the sharing icons at the top right of it.
The total or partial reproduction of an article, without the prior written permission of Le Monde, is strictly prohibited.
For more information, consult our general conditions of sale.
Unlike other Eastern European countries, France does not depend on Russia to operate its 18 central. Imported natural uranium comes from Niger, you Kazakhstan, from Uzbekistan and Australia. It can then be converted and enriched in Orano's facilities on the Malvési sites (hears) and Tricastin (Drome), the fuels being then manufactured in the factories of the French Framatome or the American Westinghouse.
Find the decryption : Article reserved for our subscribers Cost, waste management and safety : eight questions posed by the announced return of nuclear power in France
But the war in Ukraine, which exposes European and global dependence on the Russian nuclear industry, is not totally without consequences for the French industry. Because today, a single facility can “recycle” the uranium from the fuels used in the 56 park reactors : the Seversk plant, located in the Tomsk region, in Siberia, which belongs to the Russian group Rosatom.
A definitive halt to the uranium trade between Paris and Moscow would inevitably have consequences for an already weakened reprocessing sector and could lead, term, that uranium from spent fuel is considered as additional waste to be managed, and not as material that can be reused.
The last two years, uranium was sent from France to Russia. Anti-nuclear NGO Greenpeace documented at least five deliveries between January 2021 and January 2022 : 11 containers loaded in the port of Le Havre, the 12 february 2021, 20 containers loaded in Dunkirk, the 29 october 2021, et 13 containers in the same port, in November 2021… The 28 september 2022, i.e. seven months after the start of the invasion of Ukraine, the organization again revealed the presence of the Russian freighter Mikhail Dudin in the port of Dunkirk.