Razib sums up France’s power situation (very, very good) better than I can, so his thoughts get priority:
Gene Expression: France and nuclear power
France Reaffirms Its Faith in Future of Nuclear Power:
Nuclear power provides 77 percent of France’s electricity, according to the government, and relatively few public doubts are expressed in a country with little coal, oil or natural gas.
France generates half of its own total energy, up from 23 percent in 1973, despite increased consumption.
Electrical power generation accounts for only 10 percent of France’s greenhouse gases, compared with an average of 40 percent in other industrialized countries, according to EDF.
There is No Free Lunch, and life is about trade offs. Those who live in the American Pacific Northwest know this well; hydroelectric power is great and low risk, and results in cheap electricity which helps drive high tech industry such as aerospace and electronics. But, there are ecological downsides.
Energy-dependence on unstable gap countries (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, etc) is fundamentally bad not because it “funds terrorism” or “warms the globe” or whatever, but because it limits the freedom of action of market-driven economies. The energy-exporters are essentially parasitic states, that limit the ability of pro-growth states to naturally develop their economies.
Nuclear, wind, solar, hydroelectric, and other domestic and renewable sources of fuel are very important for us. France is a great example.