France Invests €1B in Nuclear, Saying Moratorium ‘Makes No Sense’

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Despite recent safety concerns in the wake of the Fukushima crisis, French President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to invest 1 billion euros in the next generation of nuclear power generation.

Saying that a moratorium on nuclear production “makes no sense,” Sarkozy said France will focus investment on “fourth-generation” technology, as well as research into nuclear safety.

France, which generates about 74 percent of its electricity from its 58 nuclear reactors, is also the world’s biggest net exporter of electricity from nuclear sources.

“There is no alternative to nuclear energy today,” Sarkozy told reporters.

The commitment comes as neighboring Germany moves to phase out all of its nuclear reactors by 2022. Sarkozy also pledged investment of another 1.3 billion euros in renewable energy production.

Other nations are also lining up to build nuclear reactors despite the Fukushima crisis, including the United Arab Emirates, which recently signed a deal to build four reactors; Saudi Arabia, which announced it will build 16 reactors by 2030; and Turkey, which is building two new nuclear plants.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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