Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Energy News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Nuclear power stations to join French strike
Paris (AFP) May 26, 2016

Workers at nuclear power stations in France were set to go on strike Thursday, joining a growing protest movement against controversial labour market reforms that has already severely disrupted fuel supplies.

With two weeks until France hosts the Euro 2016 football championships, the country has been paralysed by a series of transport strikes and fuel shortages that has heaped pressure on the deeply unpopular Socialist government.

Unions have called for fresh rallies in cities across France on Thursday, the latest bout of social unrest that started around three months ago and has frequently turned violent.

Under-fire Prime Minister Manuel Valls said while the labour law would not be withdrawn, it might still be possible to make "changes" or "improvements".

On Wednesday, he had lashed out at the CGT union that is driving the protests, stressing that they did "not make the law in France."

In fresh comments on Thursday, he branded the union "irresponsible" and again said it could not "impose legislation."

Long queues formed at petrol stations with some introducing rationing as the pumps ran dry amid a prolonged blockade of refineries and depots by CGT activists.

And with around a third of petrol stations running dry or dangerously low on supplies, attention turned to nuclear power stations that provide three quarters of France's electricity.

All but three of the country's 19 power stations have voted to down tools, the CGT said, adding that this would not necessarily affect electricity supply immediately.

But a nuclear power plant in Nogent-sur-Seine, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) southeast of Paris, is already operating at just 25 percent capacity.

The government has been forced to tap into its strategic reserves that last nearly four months and President Francois Hollande has vowed to do "everything... to ensure the French people and the economy is supplied".

One oil refinery out of the country's eight returned to operation Wednesday but five others are still either halted or have reduced production.

Worried drivers were turning in droves to online apps to find petrol stations that still had fuel.

- 1968 and all that -

The labour market reforms are designed to make it easier for companies to hire and fire workers which many organisations including the International Monetary Fund have said is crucial to pep up the ailing economy.

But unions are demanding the reforms be scrapped altogether, seeing them as too pro-business and unlikely to bring down high unemployment.

The government forced the controversial legislation through parliament earlier this month without a vote, further infuriating the protesters.

Unions say they have popular support for the protests and they were cheered by a poll carried out on Thursday that showed nearly two-thirds of people approved the actions.

Viviane, a 66-year-old pensioner queueing to fill up her car in Allier, central France, on Wednesday said the situation reminded her of May 1968, when students and workers paralysed the country for two weeks in protest at president Charles de Gaulle's government.

"I remember May '68 and I can tell you the shortages were no joke so I am taking precautions," she said.

But in some rare good news for the government on Wednesday, figures showed a 0.6 percent dip in the number of unemployed in April -- the first time the jobless roll has shrunk for two consecutive months in the past five years.

Labour Minister Myriam El Khomri attributed the drop to government incentives to boost hiring.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Nuclear Power News - Nuclear Science, Nuclear Technology
Powering The World in the 21st Century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Areva, TVO talks over nuclear dispute called off: TVO
Helsinki (AFP) May 26, 2016
Negotiations between France's struggling nuclear power giant Areva and Finnish operator TVO over cost overruns and delays for the construction of a Finnish reactor have been called off, TVO said on Thursday. "Our understanding is that we were very close to an agreement over all major issues and principles and then came this somewhat surprising turn that the negotiations were called off," TVO ... read more

Weed stems ripe for biofuel

Scientists turning human waste into biofuel in South Korea

Forest-destroying palm oil powers cars in EU

Modified microalgae converts sunlight into valuable medicine

Improved forecasting models to aid solar, wind power production

Using solid-state materials with gold nanoantennas for more durable solar cells

Renewable energy sources grew at record pace in 2015: study

Leaving the electrical grid in the Upper Peninsula

Industry survey finds U.S. wind power growing

Argonne coating shows surprising potential to improve reliability in wind power

SeaPlanner is Awarded Contract for Rampion Offshore Wind Farm

British share of renewables setting records

It pays to increase energy consumption

Changing the world, 1 fridge at a time

Could off-grid electricity systems accelerate energy access

EU court overturns carbon market free quotas

New concept turns battery technology upside-down

Discovery could energize development of longer-lasting batteries

Power up when the temperature is down

Technique improves the efficacy of fuel cells

Astronomers find giant planet around very young star

Planet 1,200 Light-Years Away Is Good Prospect for a Habitable World

Kepler-223 System Offers Clues to Planetary Migration

Star Has Four Mini-Neptunes Orbiting in Lock Step

BAE Systems receives Navy repair, maintenance work

Raytheon gets SM-6 contract modification

The future of sonar in semiheated oceans

Part of U.S. Navy undersea training range complete

NASA Radar Finds Ice Age Record in Mars' Polar Cap

Potential Habitats for Early Life on Mars

Opportunity takes panorama; uses wheel to scuff soil

Are mystery Mars plumes caused by space weather?

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement