nuclear power

Nuclear exit unthinkable for climate conference host France

France — Link

French scientists played a key role in discovering radioactivity and atomic energy is broadly accepted by all major political parties except the greens.

Revealed: the hidden study that says all France’s electricity can come from renewables by 2050

France — Investigation

Mediapart has gained access to a report by the French government’s environment and energy agency which concludes that France’s electricity supply, of which 75% is currently produced by nuclear power, could be entirely provided by renewable energies in 2050. Furthermore, the study found that a 100% reliance on renewables is not only materially and technologically feasible, but that it would also cost relatively little more than the electricity supply in which nuclear power plays a key part. The study was due to be made public this month, but its publication has now been inexplicably postponed until after the summer, and after key energy strategy decisions are to be taken by the government. In this report by Christophe Gueugneau and Jade Lindgaard, Mediapart presents the study in its entirety and highlights the key findings.

Greenpeace activists arrested in French nuclear break-in

France — Link

France's nuclear safety authority say they did not enter into the buildings of nuclear power plant in Fessenheim and security was not compromised.

Watchdog warns major nuclear accident would cost France 430 bln euros

France — Link

A nuclear accident similar to that of Fukushima in Japan would cost France about 20 percent of its economic output, IRSN study finds.

Unveiling the deadly danger of low-level radiation


Last month, the French nuclear safety authority published a report in which it recognised that the existence of a leukaemia cluster around the nuclear waste reprocessing plant of La Hague, in Normandy, is "possible". While radioprotection experts in France and abroad have long regarded the dangers of low-level radiation as negligible, the study by the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) was highly significant especially because it rings an alarm bell for populations close to every type of nuclear plant. Patricia Brett reports.

Greenpeace breaks into French nuclear power plants

France — Link

Greenpeace activists have broken into at least one French nuclear power plant to highlight the vulnerability of nuclear sites around the country.

Sarkozy warns of 'dramatic' effects of nuclear power reduction

France — Link

President Sarkozy launched a vigorous defence of France's nuclear industry following opposition parties' election pact to cut number of reactors.

Parties clash over future of nuclear power in France

France — Link

The French government has accused the opposition Socialist Party of planning to undermine the nuclear industry in return for Green party support.

EDF concerns for socialist victory in France

International — Link

French utilities giant EDF appears increasingly concerned over Socialist Party presidential candidate's plans to reduce reliance on nuclear energy.

France can’t afford to give up nukes, utility chief says

France — Link

Henri Proglio, CEO of French utility giant EDF, claimed that decommissioning nuclear plants would create massive expense and job losses.

The roadmap to a non-nuclear, low carbon future for France

France — Report

In a country which gets around 75% of its electricity from nuclear power, and billions of euros from exportation of its civil nuclear technology, the call to dump it could appear akin to science fiction. Yet Négawatt, an association of French environmentalist energy specialists, drew a crowd for its recent presentation of a plan for France to pull out of nuclear energy by 2033 while also halving CO2 emissions by 2030 and converting almost entirely to renewables by 2050. The nuclear industry and two ministries sent emissaries, and the plan now looks set to feature in the 2012 presidential election campaign. Jade Lindgaard reports.

France, Armenia study nuclear power cooperation

International — Link

France is studying cooperation with Armenia on nuclear power, even though Russia is to supply the former Soviet republic with its next reactor.

EDF's reputation faces risk of meltdown

France — Link

The spiralling cost of the new nuclear reactor at Flamanville, north-west France, is testing the professional reputation of utility giant EDF.

Sarkozy commits €1bn to nuclear power

France — Link

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has bucked the post-Fukushima anti-nuclear trend by pledging €1bn of investment in atomic power.

The cloud hanging over EDF's nuclear workplace accidents

France — Report

A court hearing in Normandy earlier this month provided a revealing insight into official secrecy over the dangers to which are exposed many of the 125,000 people employed in the nuclear industry in France, one of the world's leading operators and exporters of civil nuclear power technology. It centres on the case of a welder exposed to nuclear contamination at a local power plant, but whose employer refuses, like others in the industry, to consider the incident as a workplace accident. Mediapart has obtained exclusive access to an internal document from French utilities giant EDF instructing nuclear power plant directors when not to declare incidents of on-site irradiation and contamination. Jade Lindgaard reports.