Bound by nuclear energy

Published: Tuesday 15 August 2000

despite global opposition, the French government has decided not to reduce its dependence on nuclear power. According to Christian Pierret, the country's junior minister for industry, though France has tapped the hydropower potential to the maximum, it still gets 80 per cent of its electricity from nuclear energy. Non-fossil energy sources, meanwhile, are still in the developing stage. Hence, it is impossible for France to end its reliance on nuclear power.

"France's nuclear industry has given rise to three 'world-class' companies -- Electricite de France, Cogema and Framatome. All three generate wealth and job opportunities," he says, adding that France has no intention of following in Germany's footsteps, which inspite of getting only 30 per cent of its power from nuclear plants, has decided to reduce its dependence on nuclear energy.

Pierret added that the government, however, is planning to invest more in power generation from renewable resources.

Prime Minister Lionel Jospin recently announced that us $291 million will be invested every year to develop alternative sources of energy.

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