Are you visiting France on holiday? Are you interested in France’s nuclear programs? Here we’ve given you information of nuclear power in France.
France has for decades had one of the most ambitious nuclear programs in the world. After decades of research and development, the state-owned national electricity company Electricite De France (EDF) was able to produce approximately three quarters of France’s electricity needs through the use of nuclear power. France today has several nuclear reactors in commission for the task of producing electricity. Most nuclear reactors in France are located along France’s 3200 km of coastline or nearby to one of its major river systems.
Nuclear Waste in France
Nuclear reactors produce comparatively less waste than other means of energy production; however, the waste that is produced is highly radioactive and needs to be disposed of very carefully. Most of France’s nuclear waste is taken to the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy where it is stored underground permanently.
France’s Nuclear Exports
France has traditionally been an exporter of nuclear technology helping many third world countries in their own nuclear energy production programs for decades. Many of these countries are former French colonies.
Hydro-Electric Power in France
EDF also has a substantial hydro-electric program and has over the past few decades undertaken large dam building projects along many of France’s main rivers. While this has helped in energy production, wildlife conservationists in France point out that this has also led to the destruction of many natural habitats for France’s animals.
France’s Nuclear Tests
Since the 1960’s France began testing of nuclear bombs on the Polynesian island of Moruroa. As time progressed these nuclear tests became more and more controversial despite the fact that test from the 1970’s onwards were all carried out underground. Local islanders experienced several negative side effects including increased cases of cancer and birth defects as well as a disruption of the local food chain. In 1985, French Special Forces famously blew up the rainbow warrior boat belonging to the environmental group green peace while it was docked in Auckland New Zealand. Finally, in 1998 French President Jacques Chirac signed an international nuclear test ban treaty after completing final tests on the Island of Moruroa.