Civilian nuclear energy’s strategic dimension Les Annales des Mines, Responsabilité & Environnement, No. 97, January 2020
French stakeholders in civilian nuclear energy are making a full diagnosis of the industry in order to cope with disappointments and lay down the conditions for relaunching programs for building reactors.
This is the time to envision this industry’s strategic dimension. Given global technological warfare and bipolarization (United States vs. China), France and the European Union (EU) must work out a strategy for controlling value chains in all forms of low-carbon technology. A key component is civilian nuclear energy. The risk is that China, Russia and, to a lesser extent, the United States come to dominate exportation markets and lock out other countries. France and the EU might lose influence over the world governance of this sector and the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, several countries want to acquire nuclear technology, which is now oriented toward small modular reactors.