Behind this lies a story that is deeply shaming. Britain in the 1950s was a leader in peaceful nuclear power. For all kinds of reasons this slipped. France, however, powered ahead in the’ 70s and ’80s and by 1988 80% of its electricity was nuclear-generated. France had decarbonised its electricity before global warming was even mooted as a serious problem. Why the world is so agonized about how to decarbonize is a mystery to me when the French showed how to do it decades ago.
EDF is 85% state owned. So the UK, which always boasts that its free market system is better than the statism still the norm in France, is effectively more or less begging the French government to build the nuclear power stations it ought to be able to build itself. A veritable triumph for the free market!