France backs its ‘safe’ nuclear reactors | Pakistan Today

France backs its ‘safe’ nuclear reactors

PARIS – The unfolding nuclear accident in Japan is reviving the debate over safety in France, which relies on nuclear for 80 percent of its power needs, but there appears scant prospect it will turn its back on the industry.
In stark contrast with neighbouring Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the suspension of her nuclear energy policy, France signalled it would not pull the plug on its flagship nuclear industry, one of the country’s key exports.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly praised the safety of the French nuclear technology during a meeting with leaders of its UMP centre-right ruling party. “If we have lost some bids, this is because we are more expensive. And if we are more expensive this is because we are the safest,” Sarkozy told the UMP leaders, according to French daily newspaper Le Parisien on Tuesday.
Sarkozy was referring to the surprise loss by a French nuclear conglomerate of a landmark $40 billion nuclear deal in Abu Dhabi in December 2009 that spurred public bickering between state-owned giants EDF, the world’s biggest single nuclear power producer, and reactor maker Areva.

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