Vol. 4 No.2  

Price for French nuclear tech may prove too high

With France pushing for greater cooperation on nuclear power with Romania, the Canadians who first introduced nuclear tech to Romania argue the Gallic technology comes at a cost the country may not be willing to pay
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Romania plans to build a second nuclear power station, but its rumoured interest in French nuclear technology may prove too expensive an option.
News of the country’s flirtation with French nuclear technology arose when President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Bucharest last February.
“Our strategic partnership will give us the possibility to actively cooperate in the field of energy, especially nuclear energy, gas-generated energy and the weapons industry,” said Sarkozy.
But Romanian Minister of Economy and Finance Varujan Vosganian denied there was a “deal” to buy French nuclear technology. This is an export product Sarkozy is adamant to promote - especially among developing countries such as the United Arab Emirates and in northern Africa.
France may want to sell its technology as the best option for Romania’s second nuclear facility, while the Canadians who are responsible for the know-how used in the first power station, at Cernavoda in Constanta county, argue theirs is the cheaper choice.
The French option uses low-enriched uranium and light water, which is found in Europe under the name of European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) and, with some modifications, in Russia, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Japan and Iran. Only a few of these states own the technology to produce fuel for nuclear power stations. Most have to buy the know-how from the big countries, such as France.

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