Archive for June 15th, 2011

June 15, 2011 | 5:21 pm


How do you build something taller than the Washington Monument 30 miles offshore in a 60-foot deep ocean? Watch.
June 15, 2011 | 3:56 pm

“There won’t be a nuclear winter after Fukushima”

In an exclusive interview with the French economic daily, Les Echos, AREVA CEO Anne Lauvergeon shares her outlook following the Fukushima disaster on the nuclear energy industry. Lauvergeon discusses the effects on the industry, attention on increased safety and security, political outlook, and how AREVA’s business is prepared for these challenges.

Three months after the Fukushima disaster, what are the consequences for nuclear power?

There are significant consequences. At Fukushima first. The situation must be stabilized rapidly. AREVA is without a doubt part of the solution. The second consequence is the end of “low cost, low safety” nuclear power so highly vaunted just a little while ago. The growth of nuclear power always means increased safety and increased security. The third consequence is the audits all over the world, and the necessarily more concerted approach between safety authorities. The fourth, and not the least, relates to public confidence. Different countries have extremely different reactions. The emotional epicenter is in Germany, but the French have also felt a strong “aftershock”. Elsewhere, the reaction is generally more pragmatic. We’re going to have to rebuild confidence.

But doesn’t the decision of a country as big as Germany signal an irreversible withdrawal from the atom?

Countries bigger than Germany such as China and the United States have confirmed their nuclear power programs, as have South Africa, India and Great Britain. Germany has simply reverted to the decision the Schröder government made in 2000. We weren’t counting on Germany for our long-term development! Naturally, with that mixture of fascination and competition typical of our ties with Germany, France is overawed at the Chancellor’s decision. But she isn’t saying how, in practice, the Germans will feed their growth while reducing their carbon impact.

Read the rest of the interview (as translated from the original article here) read more…