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Emmanuel Macron picks a bad time to promote France’s nuclear nuclear technology in a marketing tour to USA

With 40 percent of France’s nuclear power plants offline, there could hardly be a more awkward time to promote the country’s know-how

Macron to promote nuclear energy in U.S., as industry faces crisis in France, By Rick Noack, November 29, 2022, PARIS — As French President Emmanuel Macron makes the rounds in Washington starting Wednesday for the first state visit of the Biden administration, high on his agenda are his plans for a nuclear energy “renaissance.” His entourage includes the major players from France’s nuclear energy industry, who will be looking to the French leader to help boost the development and export of their technology, including smaller and more versatile reactors.

But there could hardly be a more awkward time to promote French nuclear know-how.

While Macron was preparing to head to Washington, France was relying on planes traveling in the opposite direction to prevent its nuclear-reliant power grid from collapsing. U.S. and Canadian contractors have been flown in to help after safety concerns forced the closure of half of the country’s nuclear power plants. Last week, 23 out of 56 were still offline, due to concerns over corrosion cracks and an accumulation of pandemic-related inspection delays.

………….. instead of bolstering its position as an energy exporter, France has had to import electricity from Germany — the country hit hardest by the shift away from Russia. And Britain, which normally depends on France for energy to get through winter, is talking about having to encourage people to keep their ovens and dishwashers off to avoid blackouts.

Other French neighbors, including Belgium, Switzerland and parts of Italy, may be under even more pressure as a result of the French reactor problems, said Clement Bouilloux, country manager for France at energy consultancy EnAppSys.

“Everyone was relying on the French nuclear power plants,” he said.

The situation has tarnished France’s reputation as a nuclear power leader and may have contributed to the country missing out on key contracts. Only weeks ago, France’s state-owned energy company EDF lost the first part of a $40 billion contract for Poland’s first nuclear power plant to U.S. company Westinghouse………………………………………………………..

Macron has acknowledged that the French industry has “fallen behind,” but he has defended its ability to recover, striking deals on nuclear energy cooperation in recent months with countries including India and Britain.

Macron is scheduled to attend a nuclear energy session on Wednesday, alongside four French cabinet members and several executives from the country’s major nuclear energy firms and its public regulator, the Élysée Palace said last week.

A French official added Monday that one area where France anticipates possible mutual interests is the development of small modular reactors (SMRs)……………..  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/11/29/macron-us-state-visit-nuclear-france/

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November 30, 2022 - Posted by | France, marketing

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