Nuclear energy has been moving away from power-rich countries to nations bereft of diverse power generation opportunities, all the more so after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Europe has been particularly susceptible to give heed to the nuclear panic. Germany, for instance, announced its plans to phase-out nuclear power a day after Fukushima, France went along in a matter of several months, Switzerland and Belgium have also since voted to pull the plug on nuclear. Against the background of nuclear safety technologies having reached unparalleled heights and the global community edging closer to reducing carbon emissions, it is perhaps surprising that nuclear ended up being effaced from Europe’s energy future. Are all the hurried phase-outs worth it? With the election of Emmanuel Macron as France’s president and the inauguration of the Édourard Philippe-led government, the assault on nuclear energy took a new turn. Despite the fact that most Frenchmen oppose shutting down the country’s nuclear reactors, Macron seems to move in the opposite direction striving to bring down nuclear energy’s share to 50 percent in France’s electricity production. Right after Fukushima, Germany shut down 8 of its oldest reactors and envisages to close the remaining 9 by 2022. This happened in defiance of the government’s initial plans to phase the remaining nuclear plants within the 2030-2036 interval and the Reactor Safety Commission’s judgement that all functioning nuclear plants are safe and sound. Spain, Belgium and Switzerland are phasing out their nuclear reactors, too, albeit with less ambitious deadlines, while Italy, Austria, Portugal and others have reiterated their intentions to stay nuclear-free.
Oil Price 30th Aug 2017 read more »