Thanks to nuclear and hydro energy, France has already attained a level of low-carbon electricity supply of over 95%. It is the industrialized country with the lowest CO2 emitted per capita (4.6 tons per inhabitant, almost half the German level). France is among the six countries to have already achieved the IPCC1 target for decarbonizing their electricity by 2050.
1 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
At the global level, nuclear power is the main source of low-carbon electricity (40% of low-carbon production), with nuclear powerplants currently in operation effectively making it possible to avoid the equivalent in CO2 production terms of 400 million cars each year.
Conclusions of the recent IPCC report published in October by 90 researchers from 40 countries are along the same lines: it is essential to limit global warming to 1.5°C if we are to remain in a viable world, whereas CO2 emissions are on the rise again. The IPCC has defined four scenarios in which it is possible to stay below this threshold: in all four scenarios, while nuclear is not the only solution, it certainly remains an essential component. If the current trend continues, compliance with climate objectives will require a six-fold increase in global nuclear capacity.
Concerning the fuel cycle, and more specifically recycling, the Ministry for Ecological and Inclusive Transition has confirmed the choice of reprocessing and recycling for used fuel management. Recycling makes it possible to reduce the volume of the most radioactive waste by a factor of 5 and to manage it safely. It contributes to the economy of raw materials: in France, 10% of nuclear electricity comes from MOX, a new fuel made from recycled materials.