Nuclear Power: France Buries Its Pride

As British Physicist Otto Frisch once said: "Uranium is a prima donna difficult to seduce." While other European nations incorporated American expertise into their atomic power industries, France under Charles de Gaulle proudly clung to its own nuclear technology. The country's four atomic power plants use natural uranium, the only nuclear fuel available to France in large amounts. The least fissionable of atomic fuels, natural uranium requires costly installations. The system has been a technical success but an economic failure. Says Marcel Boiteux, general manager of Electricité de France, the state-controlled...

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