Why Nicolas Sarkozy is asking Germany not to renounce nuclear power "the energy of the future".
Media release from ACDN France, 11 September 2007
Publication date 12 September 2007
President Sarkozy declared after his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel : "I would very much like French and German ambitions concerning energy to be the same." He thereby confirmed, if confirmation were still needed, that he is a convinced champion of nuclear technology in all its forms, both civilian (for France and other nations) and military (for France). Only one country escapes from his burning desire to export: Iran, apparently the only nation in which Sarkozy perceives the desire and the ability to misdirect civilian technologies towards military ends.
His reproach against Germany for renouncing the production of nuclear electricity, although it is logical if Germany continues to sell nuclear plants (via Siemens and the Franco-German EPR), is nevertheless ambiguous in its intentions. It might have two very different aims: either it aims to get the Germans to change their mind about this and rejoin "smart France" whose choice is to go "almost-all-nuclear"; or it aims to use this different choice as a pretext for sidelining Germany from supposedly "juicy" (although at the expense of the French taxpayers and consumers) nuclear exports by forming a nuclear industry group which would include AREVA, Alstom, Bouygues and other corporations, but would reduce the role of Siemens to the minimum, if not eliminate it totally.
The announced privatisation of AREVA, like that of EDF, would fit into this industrial strategy which strives to place the interests of supposedly national capital (at a time when capital knows neither homeland nor frontiers) at the service of national interests, and conversely to permit France’s capitalists to gain the maximum profit from the nation’s diplomatic and energy choices (i.e. Sarkozy’s choices).
There is only one certainty about this very risky strategy: it will aggravate the dangers of both civilian and military nuclearism, on the international level and also within France where the safety problems of power plants and other basic nuclear installations will increase when the corporations in question are privatisated, whether fully or partially, because privatisation means greater submission to the logic of profit.
However, it is quite obvious that "the energy of the future" is not nuclear energy, an unsustainable energy condemned to a horizon of only a few decades because uranium ore will run out. The only "energies of the future" are renewable ones. That is even more obvious if we look ahead several centuries, by which time humankind will have exhausted all fossil resources: life will then depend only on renewable resources. Germany understood it by adopting recently the most ambitious plan of its history regarding "Energy and Climate". France’s president, though recently converted to ecological concerns, seems not to have understood. It is not easy to reconcile the interests of the planet and of the future generations with those of his fat capitalist friends and nuclear lobbyists.