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Nuclear Energy: Éric Besson accuses Éva Joly of “lying”

Translated Tuesday 20 September 2011, by Jayne McKenzie and reviewed by Bill Scoble

Will renewable energy sources be enough to replace nuclear energy in France? Green Party presidential candidate Eva Joly is convinced so.
On Monday, Energy minister Éric Besson accused Joly of either “lying”, or committing an “insane professional error”

“Eva Joly is either lying, or has her facts so incredibly wrong, to the point of insane professional error, when she regularly claims that the existing nuclear power plants can be replaced by windmills”, the former Socialist party member stated during an interview with French news agency AFP.

Éric Besson responds, calling for an “honest” debate

In the lead-up to the annual meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the first since the Fukushima disaster, starting on Monday in Vienna (Austria), France’s energy minister responded “I do not know how much of it is a lie, and how much comes down to incompetence, but that’s serious. You can’t say that”. It is “impossible” to decide to do away with nuclear energy in France today without installing gas, oil, or coal-fired thermal power stations which emit large quantities of greenhouse gas, Mr. Besson pointed out, calling for an “honest” debate.

Éva Joly assures that we “can” do away with nuclear energy within 20-25 years

Mrs. Joly, condemned the brainwashed attitude towards nuclear energy in France, and assured several times that within 20-25 years, we can reach the point where renewable energy provides the same level of energy efficiency as we have today.

The future of nuclear energy in post-Fukushima France has gained in importance leading up to the 2012 presidential election, particularly in the Socialist party’s primary election. Last year, nuclear energy represented 74.1% of some 550,000 gigawatt hours produced in France, ahead of hydropower (12.2%) and thermal power (10.9%). Renewable energy represented only a very small proportion (2.8%), according to France’s electricity transmission operator, RTE.

France’s current goal is for 20% renewable energy by 2020. Éric Besson created a commission at the beginning of September to reflect on different possible scenarios for French energy, including for the first time, the possibility of doing away with nuclear energy.

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