Nuclear energy

01-02-2018

The nuclear power currently produced is released by a process called nuclear fission, which involves splitting the nuclei of uranium and plutonium atoms to release energy. Nuclear energy is a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels and represents a critical component in the energy mix of 13 of the 27 EU Member States, accounting for almost 26% of the electricity produced in the EU. However, in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and the 2011 nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, Japan, nuclear energy has become highly controversial. Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear energy by 2020, as well as the temporary closure of two Belgian reactors after the discovery of cracks in their vessels, has stepped up pressure for the abandonment of nuclear power in Europe. While it is the Member States that choose whether to include nuclear power in their energy mix or not, EU legislation aims at improving the safety standards of nuclear power stations and ensuring that nuclear waste is safely disposed of and handled.

The nuclear power currently produced is released by a process called nuclear fission, which involves splitting the nuclei of uranium and plutonium atoms to release energy. Nuclear energy is a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels and represents a critical component in the energy mix of 13 of the 27 EU Member States, accounting for almost 26% of the electricity produced in the EU. However, in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and the 2011 nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, Japan, nuclear energy has become highly controversial. Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear energy by 2020, as well as the temporary closure of two Belgian reactors after the discovery of cracks in their vessels, has stepped up pressure for the abandonment of nuclear power in Europe. While it is the Member States that choose whether to include nuclear power in their energy mix or not, EU legislation aims at improving the safety standards of nuclear power stations and ensuring that nuclear waste is safely disposed of and handled.