Nuclear subsidy: another £1.2bn

As if to underline the fact that no nuclear power station can or has ever been operated on a commercial basis without public subsidy, the current French government has just announced that it intends to give the industry a further €1bn.

     Wall Street Journal, 28 June 2011

Once you dig yourself into the hole of becoming dependent on nuclear power, you just have to keep on paying out for it. In contrast, the UK has a golden opportunity to get out of nuclear power when the current plants reach the end of their working life and generate that electricity from renewables instead.

Yet as the WSJ article suggests, Sarkozy's government is probably promoting the "there is no alternative" position now because the French public are getting increasing concerned about nuclear, and because there's a good chance that whoever emerges from the left as his opponent in the presidential elections next year will run on a platform of reducing or eventually phasing out nuclear power in France.

But the quote of the day must surely be in the Los Angeles Times' version of the story, where Sarkozy says,

"Our power stations are more expensive because they are safer."

No, Nicolas. Did you stop to think that your power stations might be more expensive because you keep pouring so much public money into them?

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