Areva chief says public confidence in nuclear is back

Speaking to a group of journalists in Warsaw, Areva CEO Luc Oursel said public confidence in nuclear energy has recovered from post-Fukushima doldrums, the Global Post reports.

“We’re seeing confidence return,” he reportedly said. “In Europe, there are more and more countries favoring nuclear than those opposing it.”

Oursel’s visit to Poland comes as the country, which currently produces 90 percent of its power from coal, prepares for a public tender on a project to build two 3,000 MW nuclear power plants by 2024. In addition to France’s EDF and Areva, Westinghouse and GE Hitachi have expressed interest in bidding on the project.

Poland is also looking to develop what many believe could be substantial shale gas reserves.

Oursel’s optimism on nuclear would not be shared by the government of nearby Germany, which is undertaking an expensive effort to completely phase out its nuclear power program.

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