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UK's Nuclear Sector Set to Expand Following New Energy Pact with France

On Friday the British Prime Minister David Cameron signed a new energy pact with French President Nicolas Sarkozy that will lead to the construction of more nuclear power plants in the UK and attract more than £500 million ($791 million) of private sector investment.

Cameron said that, “as two great civil nuclear nations, we will combine our expertise to strengthen industrial partnership, improve nuclear safety and create jobs at home. Deals signed today will create more than 1,500 jobs in the UK.”

After the Fukushima incident many nations cut back on their nuclear programs and looked for other, safer sources of energy. However France remained committed to nuclear power and actually increased the size of its program. 78.8% of France’s energy is currently produced in nuclear power plants, of which they have 20, running a combined total of 58 reactors. In June Sarkozy committed an extra €1 billion ($1.36 billion) to his nuclear energy sector stating that “there is no alternative to nuclear energy today.”

The UK currently only produces 16 percent of its energy from nuclear sources, but hopes that the new deal with France will increase this figure and help them achieve their low carbon emission targets. "This joint declaration will signal our shared commitment to the future of civil nuclear power, setting out a shared long-term vision of safe, secure, sustainable and affordable energy, that supports growth and helps to deliver our emission reductions targets," the government said.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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  • Muzaffer Karasulu on February 21 2012 said:
    Very smart move by Brits indeed. Merkel, the first Aluminum(not the second iron at all)lady of the Europe, must be pulling her hair as to "what a stupid mistake i made, to please a couple of Greens!.., and remain in power"
  • Fred Banks on February 21 2012 said:
    A good comment Stefan, but you see, the Japanese simply got careless. The decision makers in that country who think about these matters do not believe in Gen 2 equipment - what they are thinking about is fast breeders. One thing however is certain: they will never abandon nuclear - Gen 2 or Gen X.

    About those decision makers: have I met and talked with any of them? The answer is NO, but I talked with plenty of their foot soldiers over the years.
  • Stefan on February 20 2012 said:
    I helped start up of the PaloVerde, Arizona, nuclear power plant, unit#1, in 1985. The 3 units are still producing 4000 Megawatts without problems.
    Fukushima was a product of
    a. lack of space in crowded Japan, with 6 units neck-to-neck!
    b. Reckless cheap US design, with i.e fuel rods stored in the containments
    Need to explain to the public the we will not have these problems, plus getting newer control technology.
    Stefan G. California

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