Timon Singh

Europe To Decommission Most Nuclear Power Stations By 2030

by , 06/07/12
filed under: Renewable Energy

nuclear power, nuclear energy, europe nuclear power, germany nuclear power, nuclear plant decommission, us nuclear power, nuclear plant life extension, nuclear reactorPhoto via Shutterstock

First it was Japan, then Germany, and now it looks like all of Europe is following suite. According to a report by energy experts GlobalData, Europe will decommission almost 150 of its nuclear power plants by 2030. The decision comes as a result of last year’s Fukushima disaster, and the European closures will account for nearly 69% of the total global number of expected nuclear power reactor closures by 2030. Meanwhile, the US has decided to grant life extensions to 71 nuclear plants and close only five.

nuclear power, nuclear energy, europe nuclear power, germany nuclear power, nuclear plant decommission, us nuclear power, nuclear plant life extension, fukushima nuclear disaster, fukushima

Despite the global shunning of nuclear power, the US has made no plans to change their energy program and has in fact announced plans to extend the lives of 71 of its nuclear reactors by 20 years. These plants are expected to have further life extensions further down the line. In fact, only five reactors in the US will undergo the decommissioning process between 2012 and 2030. Canada, by comparison, will shut down 17.

The Fukushima disaster has clearly had far-reaching consequences. Despite nuclear power being often discussed as necessary for the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy, public outcry over the potential dangers has meant that more than 200 nuclear power stations across the world will be closed by 2030. That is also half the number that is operational now — clearly the power of the people can still make a difference.

+ GlobalData

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4 Comments

  1. don power March 30, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    The price of the power from a new nuclear reactor can not be less then 110 EUR/MWh anymore. We can use them until we close all of them.
    The share of nuclear power in Europe is 25.99% for 2013
    and we can really replace it by renewables until 2030

  2. P.D.Sharma June 11, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Comments by PDS:
    I believe it is not good to phase out nuclear power by 2030. Mankind in general and Europe in particular will have to pay huge price by way of negative impact of fossil fuel, namely- Global Warming, Acid rain, Smog, Particulate pollution. We know accidents like Fukushima are not acceptable and are rare. But human genius has applied its mind and made nuclear safety more robust. There is no known source of energy for which society does not pay a price. But energy is essential for socio-economic development. So I believe it is best to spread the risks and have a judicious mix of fossil fuel, hydro, nuclear and renewable. This perhaps will give us optimal solution. In Japan, rising public opposition to nuclear power is understandable. But a mature political and technical response is necessary to go through critical period of a couple of years before people regain faith and appreciate the inevitable role of nuclear in the depleting reserves of fossil fuel and rising challenges in hydro. Europe is known to be very stable in relation to seismic and tsunami risks. I would therefore conclude that let us cooly consider our options and arrive at a judicious decision of optimal energy mix of nuclear and non-nuclear sources for a clean environment.

  3. DamchoDronma June 9, 2012 at 4:18 am

    Earthquakes in Italy, Poland, Portuguese and Spanish islands, Romania, France, English Channel, Ireland, Norway, Romania, Greece, Turkey… Europe is not geologically stable.

    The real issue is that all nuclear contaminants damage all life with genes… flora, fauna, homo sapiens. They all leak and send releases into atmosphere, water — the environment. For thousands of years, it will contaminate all life and bioaccumulate and biomagnify. We also know that for as long as we’ve had nuclear contaminants, all chronic diseases have multiplied worldwide. U.N. called a conference in NYC Sept 2011. Radionuclides do not stay in place, knows no boundaries.

    ** ECRR = European Committee on Radiation Risk
    Dr. Chris Busby, Scientific Secretary wrote Introduction.
    book, 2006, was co-edited with Dr. Alexey Yablokov
    “ECRR Chernobyl: 20 Years On”
    http://www.euradcom.org/publications/chernobylbook2009.htm
    the book!! http://life-upgrade.com/DATA/chernobylebook.pdf

    ** “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment”
    Alexey Yablokov, Vasily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko
    Contributing Editor, Janette Sherman
    NY Academy of Sciences, Volume 1181, 2009.
    5,000 Slavic language studies reviews, over 1,400 cited.
    http://www.strahlentelex.de/Yablokov%20Chernobyl%20book.pdf
    Yablokov authorized pdf; print orders@GrekoPrinting.com Call 734-453-0341 $12.50 in USA

  4. GreatEmerald June 7, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Well, that’s not good… In Japan, I can at least understand turning off the reactors, as the country is right on the ring of fire. But Europe is mostly on a stable platform… There can be no disasters like the one in Japan here. Sure, there is always risk of a Chernobyl-like accidents or sabotage, but it’s a low risk with modern reactors.

    Taking down the reactors all over Europe will leave it starving for power. So we’ll have to use more fossil fuels, which are extremely bad for the environment and increasingly expensive (both directly, as fossil fuels get more expensive, and indirectly, when we have to pay for dealing with global warming), or pay other countries to supply electricity (and those other countries, once again, use fossil fuels – or the same nuclear power).

    Of course, that should also be a boost into alternative energy research, which is always welcome, but how much of that energy supply will be replaced by alternative energy sources, and how much – by fossil fuels? I’d say the alternative energy part will be pretty low. Now if they declared that they’d close reactors *and* install an equivalent amount of alternative energy sources, then it would be a really good thing, but as it stands now… Eh…

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