Search

 

Cablegate: Financing the U.S. Nuclear Renaissance: France Pushes For

VZCZCXRO1083
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHFR #1267 1891602
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071602Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3642
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEBAAA/USDOE WASHDC
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES

UNCLAS PARIS 001267

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EEB/ESC, AND EEB/CBA; EUR/WE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG EIND ETRD PREL FR
SUBJECT: FINANCING THE U.S. NUCLEAR RENAISSANCE: FRANCE PUSHES FOR
DOE INVESTMENT GUARANTEES AND PLEDGES FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

REF: PARIS 500


1. (SBU) Summary: French Trade Minister Anne-Marie Idrac told
visiting Senators Murkowski and Craig June 30 that France would like
to see DoE tender investment guarantees more expeditiously, and
proposed making French export financing available to help fund
nuclear reactor construction in the U.S. France aims to facilitate
participation of its nuclear industry in the U.S. which it sees as a
key market for a strategic industrial sector. End Summary.

2. At a June 30 breakfast meeting Junior Minister for Trade
Anne-Marie Idrac expressed a desire to see DoE move quickly to issue
additional loan guarantees for nuclear power plants authorized under
the Energy Policy Act of 2005, for which the DoE just announced a
usd 18.5 billion solicitation for nuclear power facilities. Idrac's
comments were reinforced by Constellation Energy CEO Mike Wallace,
who also participated in the meeting. Constellation has partnered
with French firms AREVA and EDF to introduce France's
third-generation European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) technology to
the U.S. through their joint venture in Unistar Nuclear. (Wallace
has been a vocal supporter of guarantees, and has been quoted by the
New York Times as saying "Without loan guarantees we will not build
nuclear power plants.")

3. (SBU), Idrac also informed Senators Murkowski and Craig that
France would propose making loan guarantees from France's export
finance agency COFACE available to help fund French reactor sales in
the U.S. Idrac said that a letter formalizing the offer would be
sent shortly from Economy Minister Lagarde to Treasury Secretary
Paulson.

4. (SBU) The Senators and accompanying staffers are participating in
week-long tour of French nuclear facilities organized by the French
Embassy in Washington that includes high-level meetings with
President Sarkozy's national security advisor Jean-David Levitte,
the CEO of AREVA Anne Lauvergeon, and Pierre Gadonneix, CEO of
nuclear plant operator Electricite de France (EDF).

5. (U) France's largely state-owned AREVA is one of the world's
leading nuclear energy companies. It considers the U.S. as a major
"strategic" export market for its EPR technology, sales of which
have been booming in the past year (reftel). With interests in all
stages of the nuclear cycle, AREVA claims to be the leader in the
U.S. nuclear market, accounting for 28% of the American reactor and
services sector and 20% of its front end fuel cycle sales. AREVA
estimates that more than 30 new reactors will be built in the U.S.
in the next 20 years, and aims to build ten of those. It has
already made considerable strides toward that goal. Projects for
seven reactors at six different sites around the US are underway
(including Unistar projects at Calvert Cliffs, MD and Nine Mile
Point, NY; and projects in Amarillo, TX; Bruneau, ID; and
Susquehanna, PA). AREVA has so far invested USD 200 million to
certify the EPR technology for use in the U.S.

4. (SBU) Comment: Against the backdrop of industry demands for
additional financial support for reactor construction in the U.S.,
France is focusing on ways it can help facilitate AREVA's robust
participation in the U.S. market. It is reaching out to U.S.
lawmakers and staffers, and has also played host to governors and
other officials interested in its nuclear technology. Florida
Governor Charlie Crist will be visiting France July 16-19 with the
possible sale of two more EPR's to Florida utilities in play. We
expect continued attention to this issue from the GOF, and it is
likely to be raised on the margins of Secretary Bodman's September
visit to Paris for GNEP. France can be expected to draw on other
traditional tools of industrial policy to favor the continued
development of what the government sees as one of its most
successful industrial sectors. End Comment.

STAPLETON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: