Abstract : Nuclear power plants are some of the most sophisticated and complex energy systems ever designed. These systems perform safety critical functions and must conform to national safety institutions and international regulations. In many cases, regulatory documents provide very high level and ambiguous requirements that leave a large margin for interpretation. As the French nuclear industry is now seeking to spread its activities outside France, it is but necessary to master the ins and the outs of the variability between countries safety culture and regulations. This sets both an industrial and a scientiﬁc challenge to introduce and propose a product line engineering approach to an unaware industry whose safety culture is made of interpretations, speciﬁcities, and exceptions. This paper presents our current work within the French R&D project CONNEXION, while introducing variability modeling to the French nuclear industry. In particular, we discuss the background, the quest for the best variability paradigm, the practical modeling of requirements variability as well as the mapping between variable requirements and variable architecture elements.