Legislative elections: the main parties’​ positions on nuclear power

On May the 30th, the campaign for the legislative elections officially started. Political alliances may have an impact on the future of French energy. To better understand the political landscape, Sfen reviews the positions of the different political parties on the atom.

On May the 30th, the list of 6293 candidates for parliamentary elections was unveiled. More than 20 parties are entering the race, alone or in alliance, to come out on top in 577 constituencies. The results of these elections will be fundamental for the newly elected President of the Republic. They will determine the trajectory of his energy ambitions presented during the Belfort speech last February.

  • Ensemble!

Composed essentially of candidates from Renaissance (formerly En Marche), Modem, and Horizon (the new party of Édouard Philippe), they support Emmanuel Macron’s presidential project. The massive development of renewable energies: a tenfold increase in solar power and the establishment of 50 wind farms at sea. Regarding nuclear power, it is about building six EPR 2-type nuclear reactors and conducting studies for eight additional units. The candidates under this label are in favor of extending current reactors beyond 50 years, with the agreement of the Nuclear Safety Authority.


The New Popular Ecological and Social Union or NUPES is the alliance between La France insoumise (LFI), Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV), the Socialist Party (PS), and the French Communist Party (PCF). The alliance has adopted a common program which includes the wish of reducing greenhouse gases to 65% by 2030 and the withdrawal of carbon-based energies. At the same time, it plans to phase out nuclear power and abandon the EPR projects (although they are low-carbon).

This last point seems to be defended by the majority of NUPES candidates, except for the PCF candidates. During the presentation of the program, the different speakers stressed that the PCF candidates could freely carry a different voice in their parliamentary group. So far, the Communists support an energy mix combining renewable and nuclear energy. If Nupes has a majority, the nuclear issue could be decided through a referendum.

  • Rassemblement national

Although a specific legislative program has not yet been published, candidates under the label of the Rassemblement national will likely build on the proposals of their presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. She puts forward a Marie Curie plan. This program aims to revive nuclear power with five new pairs of EPRs to be delivered in 2031 and five pairs of EPR2s for delivery from 2036. She supports the installation of small SMRs from 2031. She also targets the dismantling of wind turbines.

  • Reconquête!

The 549 candidates nominated by Reconquête will likely defend the program of their presidential candidate Éric Zemmour. Thus, we might find in the proposals of the candidates the ambition to build fourteen new EPR nuclear reactors by 2050, the extension of the life of the existing fleet to at least 60 years, and the opposition to wind turbines. 

  • Les Républicains

After the presidential election results, Les Républicains have agreed on a legislative agreement with the UDI and have invested in 543 candidates. Their program should not vary much from the proposals of Valérie Pécresse who had expressed her willingness to reinvest in nuclear power by renovating the existing fleet. The nominated candidates will likely be in favor of the construction of at least six EPRs. They will also aim to revise the Multiannual Energy Program, which provides for the closure of several nuclear reactors by 2035.

  • And those with fewer media coverage?

Among the other parties that have gathered at least 75 candidates, we find different sensitivities towards nuclear power:

Pro-nuclear: the Pirate Party, Le Mouvement de la Ruralité, Les Patriotes, the Republican and Socialist Left (GRS)

Against nuclear power : Région et peuple solidaire, l’Écologie au centre, Les Écologistes – Mouvement écologiste indépendant

Without a position: The Independent Democratic Workers’ Party, the Animalist Party, and Lutte ouvrière. ■

Published on 2nd June 2022

By Thomas Jaquemet (Sfen)

Photo : Magali Cohen / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP