French nuclear power here to stay, says industry minister

PARIS Mon Dec 9, 2013 2:48am EST

PARIS (Reuters) - Nuclear power will always provide at least half of France's electricity, the country's industry minister was reported as saying in China on Sunday, defying calls by the green arm of the government to exit nuclear altogether.

The ability of the world's most nuclear-reliant country to continue to sell its atomic expertise overseas has been questioned since France vowed to cut nuclear power to 50 percent of its electricity mix by 2025, down from 75 percent currently, and boost renewables capacity.

But Arnaud Montebourg, the French industry minister, insisted that nuclear power will remain a key element of France's energy mix, newspaper Journal du Dimanche reported.

"Nuclear will always make up at least half of our energy (electricity output)," he was quoted as saying during a Franco-Chinese seminar in Beijing on Friday to commemorate a 30-year partnership in the nuclear sector.

"Nuclear energy is a sector of the future," he added.

French energy group Areva is currently building two next-generation nuclear reactors in Taishan in the southern province of Guangdong and is in talks with China to build two other reactors.

China is either building, or planning to build, up to 30 nuclear power plants - the biggest nuclear construction project in the world.

"Talks are still ongoing for the reactors 3 and 4, but those are talks at the political level," France's Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told TV journalists during the trip to drum up business for French companies.

France's EDF last month signed a deal with Britain to build a 16 billion pound ($26 billion) nuclear plant in southwest England - the first new nuclear plant in Europe since Japan's Fukushima disaster.

(This story was corrected to fix spelling of Taishan and location of Guangdong in paragraph 6)

(Reporting by Muriel Boselli; Editing by David Goodman)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
The Catholic French nuclear plants for agnostic China and Protestant England but not a whisper about similar facilities or Arab Muslim nations such as oil rich Qatar or Saudi Arabia or any Muslim nation anywhere, including populous and democratic economically fast growing Indonesia.
And the rest of the Christian world –six centuries older than Islam — and which has a long history of sectarian butchery among its denominations across Europe and Christendom, is no different when dealing with Muslim nations no matter what branch of Islam is in charge. Aside from Pakistan which already has nuclear power and bombs, Muslims are not deemed worthy of nuclear energy. Perhaps the final solution, in years ahead as Climate Change batters and destroys huge swathes of the planet, is total war between Christian and Islamic civilizations — a war likely to leave survivors agnostic and, hopefully, peaceful.

Dec 09, 2013 3:21am EST  --  Report as abuse
DontBeLate wrote:
1. Watch the video on youtube called “nightmare nuclear waste” to learn what france really does with their nuclear waste.

2. France’s nuclear plants need billions of dollars of work and upgrades to keep them safe.

3. The U.S. is producing the energy-equivalent of 60 nuclear power plants with Wind Energy alone! Germany is producing the energy-equivalent of 40 nuclear power plants with Wind and solar Energy.

These successes with Renewable Energy shows how osbsolete and unecessary nuclear energy is.

Dec 10, 2013 1:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
DontBeLate wrote:
1. Watch the video on youtube called “nightmare nuclear waste” to learn what france really does with their nuclear waste.

2. France’s nuclear plants need billions of dollars of work and upgrades to keep them safe.

3. The U.S. is producing the energy-equivalent of 60 nuclear power plants with Wind Energy alone! Germany is producing the energy-equivalent of 40 nuclear power plants with Wind and solar Energy.

These successes with Renewable Energy shows how osbsolete and unecessary nuclear energy is.

Dec 10, 2013 1:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.