Macron fires energy chief who opposed closing down of nuclear power plants

The shake-up comes following a bitter feud as France reels from a shortage in its energy supply. Story by the Express

EMMANUEL MACRON has fired the head of an energy company that criticised his handling of nuclear power plants.

Jean-Bernard Lévy, the head of state-controlled energy supplier EDF, will be leaving his post about six months earlier than originally intended.

However, according to French paper Le Courrier de Soir, “several reliable sources” have confirmed that Mr Lévy will be leaving early after a brutal reaction from Mr Macron to comments he made regarding the closing down of nuclear power stations.

The removal of Mr Lévy comes after it was revealed France may struggle to produce enough nuclear energy this winter to help European neighbours seeking alternatives to Russian gas. The country may even have to ration electricity to meet its own needs.

Major Brand Discounts

France has for years helped to underpin Europe’s electricity supply, providing about 15 percent of the region’s total power generation.

However, for the first time since records began in 2012, France has become a net importer of power after a record number of France’s 56 nuclear reactors went offline for overdue maintenance and checks related to corrosion issues that first surfaced last December.

Thirty of the nuclear reactors are currently shut down, leading to 57 percent of the country’s nuclear power generation going offline as of August 29, according to data from EDF. Mr Lévy was fired following comments he made to France’s Minister of Energy just a few days before his early departure was announced.

He said: “We don’t have problems of expertise, we have the skills, the experts. We have many projects in parallel and in a way, we are short of manpower, because we don’t have enough trained teams.

“A welder, a pipe fitter, it takes two-three years to train, and why don’t we have enough trained teams? Because we have been told that the nuclear fleet is going to decline, ‘get ready to close plants’.”

Last week on Monday, Mr Macron responded: “It is absolutely unacceptable that the people who have been responsible for the maintenance work on the park say today that we have not taken our responsibilities, because from the first months of my first term, we have restored visibility to the sector.” Continue reading the full story: Macron fires energy chief who opposed closing down of nuclear power plants

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