Baptiste Morin / Photo credits: ARMIN WEIGEL / DPA / DPA PICTURE-ALLIANCE VIA AFP 08:32, November 29, 2023The World Nuclear Exhibition, the world's largest civil nuclear exhibition that takes place every two years, opened its doors on Tuesday in Paris. This is good news since the French have never been so favourable to nuclear power.
Paris, the world's nuclear capital, is hosting the world's civil nuclear trade fair until Thursday. This is good timing, since nuclear power is more popular than ever among the French. Rising electricity bills are surely a factor, as nuclear remains the cheapest source of electricity.
>> Watch Europe 1 Matin in replay and podcast here
"The French have understood that energy sovereignty is important"
Every year, the French National Safety Authority conducts its barometer and this year, 46% of French people are in favour of nuclear power. Emmanuelle, a lecturer and researcher in nuclear science and technology at the CNAM, explains this record level. "The energy crisis that we are still experiencing is really extremely important for the French. They understood that energy sovereignty was important. Nuclear power allows a place on the international chessboard for France, which is interesting."
Young people in favour of nuclear power
Another study carried out for the Gorgé company, which specialises in the production of small nuclear reactors, or SMRs, goes further. It shows that young people are also largely in favour of nuclear power. This is good news for Raphaël Gorgé, the group's CEO. "It's a confirmation and in a slightly larger proportion than we expected. Gorgé is an industrial group and its challenges, to ultimately give meaning to the missions, become essential in the hiring of a new employee, and in particular young people," he says.
The French have also regained pride in the nuclear industry, after a more complicated period last year when many reactors were shut down for maintenance.