PARIS, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday announced that the country's next generation aircraft carrier will be nuclear-powered, stressing the necessity to maintain a competitive nuclear industry to preserve the country's "status as great power."
"Our energy and ecological future depends on nuclear power. Our strategic future, our status as a great power, lies with the nuclear industry," Macron said during his visit to a site of nuclear system and equipment supplier Framatome in Le Creusot in central France.
The future warship will replace the French Navy's flagship aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, in 2038.
"To oppose civilian nuclear and military nuclear does not make sense for a country like ours. Nuclear power will remain the cornerstone of our strategic autonomy," Macron said.
The French head of state pledged to invest 500 million euros (605.30 million U.S. dollars) to boost the country's nuclear industry, and promised to continue work on finding adequate ways to get rid of nuclear waste.
"To abandon totally or quickly nuclear power is to open gas coal-fired power plants or import carbon energy, which we refuse to do," he said, reiterating the need to bolster renewable energies.
Under his ecology roadmap unveiled in late 2018, Macron targeted a reduction of the share of nuclear energy in France's power production to 50 percent from 75 percent today by 2035, a decade later than foreseen in a timetable set by his predecessor, Francois Hollande, and maintained by the centrist government.
Aiming at fewer nuclear reactors in a decade, he pledged to shut down 14 of state-owned utility EDF's 58 nuclear reactors by 2035. Two reactors at the Fessenheim plant, the country's oldest, were taken off the power grid in June 2020. Enditem