French defy Europe’s anti-nuclear stance

French President Sarkozy has announced that €1 billion will be spent on nuclear energy research and nuclear safety, as part of a €35 billion programme of investment in innovation. €1.3 […]

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By Tom Gibson

French President Sarkozy has announced that €1 billion will be spent on nuclear energy research and nuclear safety, as part of a €35 billion programme of investment in innovation.

1.3 billion was set aside for renewable energy as part of an ambitious programme of investment in innovation, and nuclear is said to take the lion’s share of the figure.

The government is borrowing €22 billion to fund the programme.

The opposition Socialists have accused the government of adding to already vast levels of debt.

Most of the money announced for nuclear will go towards developing a fourth-generation model of nuclear reactor that France hopes to export worldwide.

France already sources energy from its 58 nuclear reactors and is also a major exporter of nuclear technology.