France awards EUR 1 billion of nuclear projects

28 June 2011

As part of a EUR 35 billion spending package, the French government has announced plans to invest EUR 900 million in nuclear power research. The Jules Horowitz reactor would get EUR 250 million of funding, and generation 4 reactor research would receive EUR 650 million. In addition, treatment and storage of radwaste has been given EUR 100 million.

At the same time, renewable energy projects won EUR 2.35 billion in funding.

The French executive, the Palais de L'élysée, said in a statement: "Global climate change is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. To combat this, France has several industrial powerhouses to fight it, first and foremost of which is the nuclear power industry and numerous companies and laboratories developing renewable energies," it said. It listed the first of three energy objectives "to strengthen the competitiveness of the industry to make it a world-leader in its areas of excellence in decarbonised energy (nuclear and renewables)".

In May, at a visit to the Gravelines nuclear power plant, French president Nicolas Sarkozy said: "I have confidence in the safety of the French nuclear fleet", and "We want nuclear power and renewable energy. And we will invest heavily in renewable energy."

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