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EDF Will Make Spending in France a ‘Priority,’ Proglio Says

May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Electricite de France SA Chief Executive Officer Henri Proglio said spending in France will be a priority to maintain nuclear reactors and keep them safe.

EDF’s role is one of “big public service,” Proglio told shareholders at an annual meeting in Paris. The utility will develop industry in France and hire and train young people, he said.

The state-controlled utility operates the country’s 58 nuclear reactors and is developing a new one in Normandy. The generators provide more than three quarters of the country’s power output. France’s reliance on nuclear power from EDF was the subject of debate during the recent presidential election won May 6 by Socialist Francois Hollande, who pledged to lower this dependence.

Spending on French nuclear plants will at least double to 3.4 billion euros ($4.3 billion) to 3.6 billion euros in 2015 from 1.7 billion euros in 2010, the company said in February.

EDF also needs to move more quickly into international markets by selling atomic reactors and renewable energy abroad to countries like China, Proglio said today. Development in Italy, Poland and the U.K. will also come, he said.

The utility finalized a plan to take control of Italian utility Edison SpA today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tara Patel in Paris at tpatel2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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