Green light for new French nuclear reactor

7th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 6, 2007 (AFP) - France's nuclear safety commission gave a green light Tuesday for the construction of a 3.3-billion euro (4.3-billion dollar) nuclear reactor in Normandy near the English Channel.

PARIS, March 6, 2007 (AFP) - France's nuclear safety commission gave a green light Tuesday for the construction of a 3.3-billion euro (4.3-billion dollar) nuclear reactor in Normandy near the English Channel.

Commission president Andre-Claude Lacoste told journalists he had forwarded "a favourable recommendation" on the 1600-megawatt reactor to relevant ministers.

Construction of the so-called "third-generation" European Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR), located near the town of Flamanville, is slated to begin by the end of the year.

France derives around three-quarters of its electricity from nuclear power, the highest ratio of any country in the world, and many of its reactors are approaching obsolescence.

Opponents of nuclear energy, including several minor presidential candidates, have called for protest rallies to be held in five French cities on March 17.

Lacoste said that the Flamanville reactor has "been the object of a much broader and deeper evaluation that other French electricity-generation nuclear plants at the safety report stage."

The EPR design was developed in the 1990s by Germany's Siemens and France's Framatome-ANP, which is part of the state-owned nuclear energy group Areva.

It reportedly uses 17 percent less fuel than the types of reactor currently operating in France, and is designed to generate power for 60 years.

The 58 reactors currently in service -- built under a vast programme launched 30 years ago during the first oil crisis -- will begin to age out of operation beginning in 2015.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article