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Europe Expects To Deactivate Majority Of Nuclear Power Plants

Nuclear power plant

After Japan and Germany took the plunge on decommissioning all nuclear power plants, it appears Europe is increasingly on board, too. According to a report by Global Data, Europe expects to deactivate up to 150 nuclear power plants by 2030.

The decision was triggered by the Fukushima disaster last year. These European closures will account for as much as 69% of the world’s expected nuclear reactor deactivations by 2030.

Meanwhile in the United States, life extensions have been granted to 71 nuclear plants and only five are expected to close between 2012 and 2030. Canada will shut down 17 plants.

So far, over 200 nuclear power stations around the world are expected to close by 2030, nearly half of those currently operating. It’s no secret that the Fukushima disaster has played a large role in decisions to do this, even in the midst of debate regarding whether nuclear power is needed in order to quickly lower world carbon emissions. The plants are considered necessary by some in transitioning from fossil fuels, but after long–lasting damage has been done by the Fukushima disaster in Japan, it’s obvious why so much of the public wants nuclear plants shut down.

See? When enough of the public wants something to happen, things really can get done fairly quickly.

Image CC licensed by Peretz Partensky: Nuclear power plant

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  • Michael Birks

    This is a victory for “What the public wants”, perhaps, but I can’t help feel that it’s also a failure of imagination.

    There are precious few areas of technology that are perfect in the first generation – and that’s what we’re talking about here, the first generations of fission power plants – but there are even fewer that are not improved, made better, safer, more efficient.

    Nuclear power, however, in the shining example of the precautionary principle gone malignant. Not only are we closing those early generation plants – Fukushima was 40 or so years old – but we’re also walking away from the technology without attempting to improve it.

    Some countries have even gone so far as to make the forbidding of nuclear technology not just a matter of policy, like those in the article above, but a matter of Law.

  • http://www.the9billion.com/ John Johnston

    It’s true, there hasn’t been a lot of visible innovation in nuke tech over the past few decades it seems. There are people and companies working on it, including Bill Gates and other high profile investors who want to help “solve” energy. Some climate scientists too, including James Hansen, simply don’t see how low enough emissions are going to be achieved without substantial amounts of nuclear energy around the world.

  • Michael Birks

    The problem that I see is, that regardless of any improvements in nuke tech, the technology has been so demonised that “the Public” won’t stand for the construction of any new fission plants, Next Generation or otherwise.

    I rather expect that the same will apply to fusion power plants when that time comes, either. Some green NIMBY will drag out references to the hydrogen bomb, and that will become verboten, too.

  • http://www.the9billion.com/ John Johnston

    We’ll have to see. The tech that Gates et al are working on supposedly will have no waste, as it actually uses previous waste as the fuel.