In march 2011, in the days that followed the Fukushima disaster, Vincent de Rivaz has activated its networks. The anger against the nuclear technology, swelled around the world. The boss of EDF Energy, the british subsidiary of the electrician French, knew that his project to build a power plant with two reactors EPR at Hinkley Point in western England, was in danger of sinking.
“A close associate told me that the senior officials of the ministry of energy british wanted to declare a pause in the [nuclear projects]. I said : “Especially not that ! A break in the nuclear, it never resumed.” “Chris Huhne, the energy minister of the time – a liberal democrat, opposed in principle to nuclear power – was to express, in the following days, at the spring congress of his party, and he was under pressure from activists to make a strong gesture. “I called him and I said to him : “I have a better idea. Request to the nuclear safety Authority british to make a report, to draw all the lessons.” “The minister has approved, in being in this parade as a way to keep the project alive, while giving the impression to act.
Mr de Rivaz was then decided to appear ten days after the disaster to the political broadcast flagship of the BBC’s ” The Andrew Marr Show “, against the advice of his advisors. “If I wasn’t going to defend the nuclear, which would have made it ? “A few months later, the report of the safety Authority imposed more stringent standards, which have increased the cost of the proposed Hinkley Point, but that allowed him to continue.
Then, on Tuesday, 31 October, Mr de Rivaz leaves after sixteen years his position at the head of EDF Energy, these few days essential summarize a good part of his continuing work of tightrope walker to lead the revival of nuclear power in the uk. Fukushima, the difficulties of the EPR, financial crisis…