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Sarkozy urges rise in nuclear power

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has won the support of international energy officials after proposing that climate change should be fought through nuclear power.

At a conference in Paris he said poor countries should receive help to construct their own nuclear power stations in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.

Energy officials from across the globe attended the conference, which left French executives keen to market their expertise abroad.

But concerns were raised by a number of experts who believe Mr Sarkozy’s vision will see deadly technology getting into the wrong hands.

They also warned consumers to pay attention to the staggering price tag of potential nuclear energy growth - up to £2.6 trillion worldwide by 2050.

“We need nuclear energy to meet international goals set for slowing global warming,” Mr Sarkozy said. Nuclear reactors do not produce the carbon emissions that scientists blame in part for climate change.

His recommendations come at a time when the Obama administration has called nuclear power a key part of comprehensive energy legislation in the United States, where reactor building has been halted since the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979.

Mr Sarkozy wants France, which is reliant on atomic reactors for a large majority of its electricity, to lead the way.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Michael Paul

    It's not only a worry about the technology getting into the wrong hands. Suitable safe permanent solutions for the nuclear waste that has already been produced still have to be found, so I dread to think what will happen when many more countries have to deal with increasing amounts of radioactive material.

    Mike Paul, Stuttgart

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  • Three words: Thorium Nuclear Reactors.
    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/ff_new_nukes/

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