The mystery of Sarkozy’s atomic urge continues. Now France is going to get its second EPR (third generation pressurized water reactor), Sarkozy announced yesterday (see “France to build second new-generation nuclear reactor”, International Herald Tribune, July 3 2008, and “Nicolas Sarkozy confirme la construction en France d’un deuxième réacteur EPR”, Le Monde, July 3 2008).

Interesting. Especially if one considers that France’s nuclear overcapacity makes even the construction of the first one at Flamanville superfluous (see “2e EPR en France: une décision stupide qui disqualifie Nicolas Sarkozy sur les dossiers énergétiques et climatiques”,, July 3 2008, and also, on the disastrous situation at Flamanville, “A Flamanville, les travaux de l’EPR sont suspendus après des anomalies”, Le Monde, July 3 2008). But it would be of course completely unfair to say that Sarkozy’s decision is pointless. Let us think and find out the clever rationale. Think, think hard.

One humble contribution: it’s about getting some business for the nice pal who is going to get Areva after privatization (see a couple of posts here and here). But wait: this hypothesis might be completely obscene compared to the straight fact that the merger between Suez and Gaz de France does also need to be fed with some nuclear agitation. Which one is the right hypothesis? Beep. The right response already delivered today:

“SUEZ welcomes the announcement made on 3 July 2008 at Creusot by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the construction of a second EPR-type nuclear reactor in France. In this sector undergoing deep mutation, this decision contributes to the safety and competitiveness of the energy supply in France and Europe, as well as to the policy of fighting global warming. Building a second EPR in France will benefit the French nuclear industry at large. The Board of Directors of the new group GDF SUEZ will decide on its options on the question of nuclear developments in France, by the start of 2009 at the latest in line with the timetable set out by the French President.” (from “GDF SUEZ will decide its options on nuclear development in France in early 2009 at the latest”, press release, Suez, July 4 2008)

(Although both hypotheses do not need to be considered as mutually exclusive, no?)


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