The Arabelle turbine is an essential part of a nuclear reactor. This flagship of French technology is coveted by the Russian company Rosatom, which could acquire a 20% stake in the French manufacturer GEAST.
It’s hard to understand. In the midst of the Russo-Ukrainian war, while the international community decrees severe economic sanctions against Russia, Le Figaro reveals that “the State is ready to sell 20% of Arabelle to the Russian giant Rosatom”.
“As long as the sanctions against Russia do not concern nuclear energy, the arrival of Rosatom in the capital of GEAST remains a possibility”, explains a government source to the Parisian daily.
Back in the French fold
GEAST, for “GE-Alstom”, is a French company, originally a joint subsidiary of General Electric and Alstom, specializing in nuclear activities related to steam turbines on the conventional island, and historically located in France, including its site in Belfort.
This turbine, one of the flagships of French technology, is used in our nuclear reactors, but also in submarines. A real “treasure” from France, it already powers several nuclear reactors of Rosatom, in Russia.
Alstom’s nuclear branch was bought under very controversial conditions by the American General Electric in 2014, with the blessing, if not the complicity of the Minister of Economy at the time, a certain Emmanuel Macron. The return of GE’s energy branch to the French fold allows it to keep its hand on the Arabelle turbines.
In a press release issued on February 10, 2022, EDF announced that it had signed an exclusive agreement to acquire part of GE Steam Power’s nuclear business.
In the midst of war
“This project to acquire GE Steam Power’s nuclear activities, including the Arabelle turbines, will enable EDF to further strengthen its mastery of key technologies and skills for the existing nuclear fleet and for new nuclear reactor projects in France and beyond,” said EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy.
If the information given by Le Figaro is confirmed, one may wonder about the sale to Russia, in the middle of the war against Ukraine, of part of our strategic nuclear industry.
Is this double talk about economic sanctions? In any case, the question of this sale in the midst of the Russian-Ukrainian war is confusing and deserves rapid clarification from Emmanuel Macron.