Update to deal (24th Sept ’08)
The French electricity group EDF is ready to unveil a £12bn deal for the takeover of the UK’s nuclear power generator British Energy as early as next week.British Energy is attractive to buyers because of its sites, which could be used to build a new generation of nuclear stations.
It’s believed 25% of British Energy would go to Centrica which would give the UK firm an alternative source of energy and reduce its dependence on gas – as well as giving the French some kind of British cover for what might be seen as further proof of the French takeover of the potentially resurgent UK nuclear sector.
There would appear to be a French takeover of the UK nuclear sector happening after the French group Areva this month became preferred bidder with two others to takeover management of the Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria.
French nuclear leaks
France’s independent radiation watchdog sounded the alarm Thursday after a nuclear leak – the fourth such scare in a fortnight.
Electricité de France workers were exposed to radioactive particles on Wednesday that escaped from a pipe at a nuclear reactor at the Tricastin complex. Experts said that the latest incident involved the highest number of workers to be collectively contaminated in French nuclear history.
Tricastin, which houses four reactors, suffered another leak earlier this month at a separate treatment facility when 74kg of liquid containing unenriched uranium was spilled.
Authorities have just lifted a fishing and water sports ban in two nearby rivers.
It appears we should now be sounding the alarm here in the UK over the government’s nuclear energy policy.