European countries is intent to build more than 20 nuclear reactor


With the growing need for clean and cheap energy sources in Europe, especially in the face of the Russian gas shortage crisis, and also to meet climate-related goals.

Several European countries announced plans to expand the construction of new nuclear reactors, or to extend the work of reactors that were to be decommissioned.

Service to provide cheap and sustainable electricity away from oil and gas dependency.

There is an intention to establish more than 20 nuclear reactors in different countries in Europe, including Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK, after there was an intention to limit electricity generation projects from nuclear energy, and this trend will also increase after the European Union adopts nuclear energy.

Although Europe has been relatively spared from the energy crisis that was highly likely this winter, thanks to unusually warm weather, a reduction in consumption by more than the target 15%, and an increase in its imports of liquefied natural gas by 58% in 2022, it’s currently afraid of Difficulties in refilling their stocks for the coming winter season.

Europe’s concerns emerge, especially with the reopening of the Chinese economy, and expectations of fierce competition for liquefied gas.

This calls for European countries to expedite the search for alternative energy, which is expected to be at the forefront of nuclear energy.

Proponents of nuclear power see the industry as vital to achieving clean energy goals.

Whereas, once built, nuclear reactors provide 24-hour low-carbon electricity, unlike intermittent wind or solar power.

France, the largest producer of nuclear energy in Europe, which ranks first in the world, in relying on nuclear power to generate electricity, by up to 75%, was planning to reduce this percentage to 50% by 2035, by stopping the operation of old reactors, and increasing Renewable energy sources.

After the French President Emmanuel Macron had pledged in 2018 to shut down 14 nuclear reactors by 2035, he returned and announced early last year a counter plan aimed at building about 14 nuclear reactors until 2050, as part of carbon neutrality plans.

Before the end of 2022, France fully nationalized the electricity company, to implement its new strategy.

Germany, the largest economy in Europe, was forced to extend the work of 3 stations that it intended to close until mid-April 2023, to overcome the gas shortage crisis, especially as it is considered the most affected by the interruption of Russian gas supplies, which constituted about 40% of its needs.

As for Sweden, which relies on nuclear energy to generate about 30% of its electricity, and which currently has 6 nuclear reactors, it’s currently working on new legal legislation that allows it to build more nuclear reactors, after previous governments were seeking to dismantle existing reactors.

The UK is also not far from this trend, as it seeks to triple its nuclear energy capabilities by 2050 and replace its aging stations.

Another European countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania are also working to establish new nuclear reactors.

Despite these ambitious nuclear energy projects, they will face some challenges, foremost of which is time, as the construction of a nuclear plant takes a decade or more at best, in addition to the risks of operation and high costs.

As for the challenges in nuclear energy production, comes the nuclear fuel used to operate these stations, as the Russian Rosatom company is the largest supplier of nuclear fuel in the world, and Europe relies on Russia actually in order to get around 50% of its needs, as well the United States depends on Russian nuclear fuel.

Therefore, Rosatom is currently outside Western sanctions, as it’s mainly relied upon to provide nuclear fuel as well as nuclear technology.

Among the challenges facing the spread of nuclear energy for private uses in electricity generation is the World Bank’s refusal to finance these projects, although it is considered the largest financier of green energy in the world.

According to estimates by the Oxford Energy Institute, 439 nuclear reactors are operating at the present time, providing electricity in about 32 countries around the world, mostly in Europe, North America and some Asian countries, in addition to about 60 nuclear reactors under construction.

The United States is the largest producer of electricity from nuclear energy in the world, although the proportion of electricity generated represents only about 19.7% of the total energy generated in the United States.

The Oxford Energy Institute estimates that the world will need to add 235 new reactors over the next eight years in order to reach the zero emissions target by 2050.

Share it...

Leave a Reply