The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has bucked the anti-nuclear trend following Japan's Fukushima disaster by pledging €1bn of investment in atomic power.
Despite growing worldwide concern about the safety of nuclear plants, 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," he told journalists on Monday.
"We are going to devote €1bn to the nuclear programme of the future, particularly fourth-generation technology," Sarkozy said.
Sarkozy also promised "substantial resources" to strengthen research into nuclear safety and a further €1.3bn (£1.2bn) investment in renewable energy.
The announcement confirming France's commitment to atomic power came as neighbouring Germany drew up plans to shut all its nuclear stations by 2022.
It also came 24 hours after thousands of anti-nuclear protesters formed a human chain outside France's oldest nuclear power station to demand its closure.
Read more on this story from The Guardian.