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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sarkozy Pledges €1bn of Investment In Nuclear Power

The French President Nicolas Sarkozy has pledged €1bn of investment in nuclear power.  Sarkozy said the moratorium on new nuclear reactors adopted by certain countries since the Japanese nuclear crisis in March "makes no sense. There is no alternative to nuclear energy today. We are going to devote €1bn to the nuclear programme of the future, particularly fourth-generation technology."

The Center agrees with President Sarkozy.

Sarkozy also promised "substantial resources" to strengthen research into nuclear safety and a further €1.3bn (£1.2bn) investment in renewable energy.

Norris McDonald at Civaux plant in 2007
The Sarkozy announcement came 24 hours after thousands of anti-nuclear protesters formed a human chain outside France's oldest nuclear power station to demand its closure.  The plant at Fessenheim in Alsace, on France's border with Germany, has become the focus of a fierce debate over nuclear safety.  At the weekend, demonstrators from France, Germany and Switzerland surrounded the plant calling for its number one reactor, in operation since 1977, to be taken out of service, claiming it was vulnerable to flooding and earthquakes. The plant is operated by French power group EDF.

France has 58 nuclear reactors, which supply 74% of its electricity, and is the world's largest net exporter of electricity from nuclear sources. (The Guardian, 6/27/2011)

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