Published: 06 Dec 2012 10:19 GMT+01:00 | Print version
Updated: 06 Dec 2012 10:19 GMT+01:00
The French government remains committed to finishing a new-generation nuclear reactor despite new cost overruns, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says.
"The construction will continue right to the end," Ayrault said on RTL radio on Thursday.
"There are difficulties but I think we have to accept that because it is necessary."
French energy group EDF on Monday raised the total cost of its long-delayed new-generation nuclear reactor at Flamanville in western France by 2 billion
euros ($2.6 billion) to 8.5 billion euros.
The cost of the facility, slated to begin operations in 2016, is now 5 billion euros more than initially estimated.
Built by Areva and due to be operated by EDF, Flamanville is one of four European Pressurised Reactor projects in the world, including another much-delayed one planned in Finland, whose production date has been delayed indefinitely.
Two other EPR reactors are being built in Taishan in southeastern China.
Ayrault said that as Flamanville is one of the first EPR reactors to be built additional precautions have needed to be taken and the delays have been
pushing up the cost.
He noted that safety standards are now higher and that the reactor was being designed to last 60 years, which also implied higher construction costs.
Ayrault also noted that the reactor had its opponents, including from the Greens inside the Socialist-led government, but said "this reactor will be the
safest in the world."
When it comes to fighting off the invasion of English words the French Resistance has had mixed fortunes over the years. Nevertheless the fight goes on. With the help of the Ministry of Culture here's a list of the latest English terms that French authorities want deported. READ () »
The streets of Paris are getting a reputation for being unsafe for tourists and this is a threat to business for the great brand names of French fashion, a top body representing the luxury industry warned on Friday. READ () »
Rights watchdog Amnesty International has filed its end of year report on French President François Hollande's record on tackling human rights issues. Its conclusion was: Could do better. READ () »
The dangerous craze of ‘train surfing', which has long been popular in Russia, came to France this week and ended in tragic circumstances. A young man who was reportedly riding the roof of a Paris Metro was killed when the train entered a tunnel. READ () »
The purchase of the famous upmarket French department store Printemps by investors from Qatar needs to be investigated by authorities for possible corruption, money laundering and tax fraud, unions demanded this week. READ () »
The proposal was labelled by critics as another example of France's Socialist government attacking the richest. But after a u-turn announced on Friday the plan to limit executive pay in the private sector will not now see the light of day. READ () »
It could easily be the script of a grisly horror movie. Police arrested a man in Nice this week, suspected of chopping up his 95-year-old grandmother. According to sources the suspect admitted to having eaten part of the body. READ () »
IMF chief Christine Lagarde is spending a second day being questioned by French prosecutors on Friday as part of a probe into a €400 million state payout to disgrace businessman Bernard Tapie. If Lagarde is charged she could be forced to quit the IMF. READ () »
At least 20 people were killed and several trainee officers taken hostage when Islamist militants carried out twin bombings on a French-run nuclear plant in Niger. The attack was claimed by the group Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). READ () »
Not everyone gets the chance to party with the stars at the Cannes festival for two days, unless that is, you are the French double of 'Gangnam style' entertainer Psy and you have the nerves of steel to pretend to be him. Meet Denis Carre our undisputed French Face of the Week. READ () »