Monday, September 1, 2008

Let's Be Like Europe: France and nuclear power

From, of all places, NPR:

After the energy crisis of the 1970s, France invested heavily in nuclear facilities, and today the country is much less dependent on foreign oil. Environmentalists cite safety concerns, but the French government and the powerful nuclear lobby seem determined to press on toward their goal of using nuclear power to achieve energy independence.

On the coast of Normandy overlooking the English Channel, sits the nuclear power plant at Flamanville. Its two reactors generate enough electricity for the entire regions of Normandy and Brittany. France has 58 nuclear plants like this which meet 80 percent of its total electricity needs -- and allow it to export power to Britain, Germany and Italy.

But, of course, that's one part of Europe's superior civilization that we don't even want to think about emulating, right?


Anonymous said...


What are they doing about waste?

Steven H. Newton said...

I don't know precisely what they are doing about waste, but that problem has several technical solutions if you're willing to pay a small price for it. One of them is to fuse the waste with silicates (essentially glass) and render it into inert bricks with a radiation signature so small as to be non-existent.