Natural Gas, Nuclear and Hydrogen
Loyola de Palacio Series on European Energy Policy
Chapter 5: European Electricity Supply Security and Nuclear Power: An Overview
William J. Nuttall and David M. Newbery This chapter is based upon the Nuclear Energy Policy Brief prepared for the European Sixth Framework Programme Project ‘CESSA – Coordinating Energy Security in Supply Activities’. Here we present a range of issues relating to nuclear energy and in particular new power plant construction in the European Union (EU). In doing so we are conscious of the words of Professor Gordon MacKerron, contributor to the CESSA conference held in Berlin in 2007. He reminds us that ‘nuclear power is special’. As will perhaps become clear in the pages that follow, while sound economics is an essential prerequisite for a European nuclear renaissance it is not, and will not be, sufficient to ensure the success of such an endeavor.1 1 THE EUROPEAN NUCLEAR RENAISSANCE There are two major drivers for renewed interest in nuclear power in many countries of the EU: the need for secure electricity supplies and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. During the course of the CESSA project the scope of ambition for new nuclear power plant construction in Europe has broadened. In 2007 the most ambitious nuclear new build plans for Europe would not have done more than replace exiting nuclear energy capacity. However, in early 2008 several countries (such as the UK, Italy and Romania) were considering measures that raise the possibility of a long-term net growth in European nuclear energy capacity, now made more attractive by the large increase in fossil fuel prices. Concerns for global climate change...
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