General Overview:Nuclear Energy

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear power is really mature in the whole European region, and several of its member states have been familiar with the use of nuclear energy for electricity generation since the 1960s. However, some of the EU member states started to implement an energy policy prohibiting or canceling the use of nuclear power for this specific purpose, after the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria, and Italy, among others, have reinforced their energy policy rejecting, in some cases, and canceling in others, the use of nuclear energy for electricity generation in the future. In the specific case of Germany, eight of its nuclear power reactors in operation in 2011 were shutdown as a result of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The UK has closed one unit. France has declared its intention to reduce to 50 % the participation of nuclear energy in the generation of electricity in the country in the future.

Undoubtedly, energy security, oil prices, and carbon emission can influence in the implementation of this energy policy during the coming years, if these coun- tries cannot increase the participation of renewable energy sources for electricity generation. The estimated electricity generation from nuclear power is fourth of the total electricity to be generated by 2040, but this projection can change significantly in the future.

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