Atom, Mon Amour | Close up - The Current Affairs Documentary | DW | 14.10.2019
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Close up

Atom, Mon Amour

Hardly any country seems to love atomic energy more than France. It's the world champion of nuclear power, and generates around 75 per cent of its electricity in nuclear power plants. Warnings about potential risks tend to fall on deaf ears.

Watch video 28:35

In some cases, just getting involved in protests against nuclear involves its own risks. Jean-Paul Simon is a farmer from Cirfontaine, who ended up in court because he lent farming equipment to people protesting against nuclear power. The farmer’s equipment was seized by authorities. Jean-Paul Simon is still waiting for its return. The country’s oldest power plant is in Fessenheim on the border to Germany. The Fessenheim plant has been involved in more ‘incidents’ than any other in France. But residents seem largely untroubled. And apart from plans to distribute iodine pills and information leaflets that look pretty out-of-date, the city appears to be ill-prepared to cope in the event of a serious accident. How come France has such faith in nuclear power? This documentary takes viewers across the country and features both supporters and opponents. It takes a look at how in France children appear to be raised to take atomic for granted - nuclear power plants near the Loire river, for example, organize children’s activities such as candle making in the shadow of the cooling towers.