"PARIS — For decades, France has been a living laboratory for atomic energy, getting nearly three-quarters of its electricity from nuclear power — a higher proportion by far than in any other country.
And France’s nuclear companies have long been seen as leaders in building and safely operating uranium-fueled reactors around the world — including in the United States — and championed by Paris as star exporters and ambassadors of French technological prowess.
But in the last few years, the French dynamo has started to stall. New plants that were meant to showcase the industry’s most advanced technology are years behind schedule and billions of euros over budget. Worse, recently discovered problems at one site have raised new doubts about when, or even if, they will be completed."