The Use of Nuclear Energy for Electricity Generation
The installed capacity of nuclear power plants changed in 2011 primarily because of the immediate closure of 8.4 GW of German nuclear capacities following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, which prompted the government to pass a phase-out bill that will see the country abandoning nuclear energy by 2022. In all other EU member states using nuclear power, except France and the UK, the installed capacity actually grew slightly (0.8 GW) between 2010 and 2011, mainly due to repowering. Nuclear power plants now account for 14 % of the total installed capacity in the EU. Although a total of 1 GW of new fossil-fired power plants went on-stream in 2011, their share of the total installed capacity—about 52 %—did not change because of the simultaneous addition of new renewables capacity.
The electricity produced by nuclear power plants decreased by 2.7 % between 2011 and 2012. The largest share of electricity produced by nuclear energy in the 14-EU member states that have nuclear facilities to produce electricity can be found in France (75.5 %), followed by Slovakia (55.3 %), Belgium (51.3 %), Hungary (46.6 %), Sweden (37.9 %) and Slovenia (35.9 %). Germany that has decided to shutdown its nuclear power plants by 2022 has a share of 16.2 %. According to Fig. 2.13 during the period 2000–2010, nuclear capacity decreased 7,594 MW.