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Nuclear industry thinks Ukraine crisis is great; “We might sell some nukes to Europe”

Nuclear industry hopes Ukraine crisis to boost business in Europe By Michel Rose PARIS, March 21 (Reuters) – Western players in the nuclear industry are hoping the conflict between Ukraine and Russia could help push countries in Eastern Europe that rely on Russian gas to turn to atomic energy…….

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The nuclear industry, whose prospects were hit by the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, has been keen to promote its advantages as a domestically produced source of clean energy by comparison with imported gas and polluting coal-fired plants.

“I think it is wise for eastern Europe to be evaluating nuclear, because it forces them to be less dependent on external forces, external politics,” Donald Hoffman, president of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), told Reuters on the sidelines of the SFEN nuclear industry conference in Paris.

Delegates from the French nuclear industry are also keen to export reactors to central European countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic.

“It (nuclear power) can bring rethinking in terms of energy independence,” said Christophe Behar, director of the French nuclear research centre CEA’s nuclear energy division……..”The first Ukrainian alert had played a role in energy policy decisions in Britain, for example,” said Philippe Knoche, chief operating officer at French nuclear reactor builder Areva.

Britain went on to award a 19 billion euro ($26.4 billion) contract last year to build the first new nuclear plant in Europe since Fukushima to a consortium made of EDF, Areva and Chinese state-owned companies CGN and CNNC……..

NO SHORT-TERM BOOST But other players were more sceptical on the prospects for nuclear energy in Eastern Europe as a response to the Ukrainian crisis. “The gas issue is very short-term, I don’t see how the nuclear industry could help,” said Jean Van Vyve, nuclear assets and projects manager at Belgium’s Electrabel, owned by GDF Suez.These countries’ existing heating infrastructure, mainly based on oil and gas and not on electrical devices, reduces the attractiveness of nuclear energy, he added.

Danes Burket, from Czech utility CEZ, did not expect a major boost for nuclear energy either. “I am not optimistic on that,” he said, partly because the EU energy strategy focuses more on supporting renewables than nuclear energy…… http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/21/nuclear-ukraine-idUSL6N0MH4VT20140321

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March 22, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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