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« New Baghdad and the Collapse of Capitalism | Main | Rick Rule: Energy Bull »

The reemergence of world nuclear energy

President Sarkozy 15 March 2010.JPG

An interesting 'take' on the financing of nuclear power by the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, who advocates the deployment of funds from The World Bank for such purposes.

Hosting a meeting at the headquarters of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on 8 March that international organizations such as the World Bank should begin financing the non-military use of nuclear energy. “I don’t understand and I don’t accept the exclusion of nuclear energy from international finance,” Sarkozy, a proponent of nuclear power, said at the opening of a two-day conference in Paris on making atomic power more widespread.

Representatives from some 60 nations gathered at the Paris nuclear energy conference. Iran, whose nuclear program is the target of international concern, was not invited to the talks. But Syria, whose nuclear interests have stirred controversy, was present.

The French President noted that international organizations do not finance nuclear energy. “This condemns countries to using energies that are more expensive and dirtier,” Sarkozy said.

France has 58 nuclear reactors - and two modern EPR reactors under construction - which currently meet about four-fifths of the country’s electricity demand. He said that financing for countries that want to build nuclear reactors would help France’s nuclear energy industry, including Areva and EDF.

The French president told more than 700 conference participants from 65 countries that “the responsible development of non-military nuclear energy” was vital to combating global warming. Sarkozy made a number of proposals to promote the availability and use of nuclear power, including the allocation of carbon credits to non-carbon emitting energy projects after 2013.

He also said that France plans to set up an international institute of nuclear energy to produce skilled engineers and technicians, in addition to establishing a Franco-Chinese centre with a campus in Canton. Sarkozy also proposed the creation of an independent authority on nuclear safety and an evaluation system to rate available reactors on their safety.

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