Nuclear power is a way of producing electricity by power plants which at the same time have the advantage of being non-polluting in the immediate future, and of providing the energy autonomy of the country which obtains it, and of producing electricity at low cost. But nuclear power is also a method of producing electricity which involves a very high risk of catastrophe ("nuclear catastrophe", in the event of an accident in a power plant) and stranded costs, the calculation of which if not uncertain to say the least little known.
France had made the choice, after the Second World War, of nuclear power, in particular because of its absence of fossil energy resources and taking advantage of the quality of its technical teams. . The French nuclear fleet soon coming to an end and the establishment of a new fleet requiring many years of work and investment, the government had requested a report from François Roussely, former president of EDF, but its classification " secrecy "makes it difficult to expose. The articulation between civilian nuclear power and military nuclear power is a technical, political and regulatory issue.
This three-fold question has repercussions on the structuring choices of the crucial operator in the sector. Indeed, while EDF and Areva had been separated, the two companies are reunited again, the reunion of the two operators being justified for technical, economic and governance reasons.
The specific risk of nuclear power, which in law translates into a regime of objective liability of the State and the uninsurable nature of the activity, and its proximity to military and defense issues, justify the prospect of liberalization, even of privatization, as they have been experienced in the UK, have gone no further than experimentation. The placing on the financial market of part, even a minority, of the capital of companies which design, build and sell nuclear power plants, was discussed.