Back in the mid-noughties I attended a seminar on energy held at the French embassy, possibly a couple of years after the European heatwave of 2003. Over lunch I asked a French official how many of their inland nuclear power stations had to be closed down due to the lack of suitable cooling water drawn from adjacent rivers. He told me it was an official secret. In the wake of the north west American ‘heat dome’ heatwave I wonder if this unprecedented and unmodeled phenomenon might be causing a few jitters in the Élysée Palace? The latitude where the heat dome occurred is not much different to much of northern Europe. The temperature in British Columbia was not much short of 50 degrees centigrade. The pressure on water supplies must have been dramatic, and were this to last for any length of time the demands of agriculture for water would come into direct competition for more energy generation for all those air conditioners and cooling plants, if supplied by nuclear energy. How resilient is the French energy sector? And, should the need arise, would they switch of the three or four gigawatts of electricity they supply the UK? I think post-Brexit a French emergency would outbid any contracts we might rely on. But we wished Europe away, so there’s one more thing we won’t have to worry about.