Five years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, India and China have embraced nuclear power. Other countries in the region also want to build more plants – even in high-risk areas prone to earthquakes and tsunamis.
However, it’s unclear whether such plans will ever see the light of day. “It will be very difficult to find people willing to invest billions of dollars in this area, especially given the likelihood of another accident taking place in another part of the world,” said Greenpeace nuclear expert Smital.
“The costs related to the production of nuclear energy are only likely to increase, whereas renewable energy is becoming increasingly affordable. This is why the free market can only barely manage to finance nuclear plants at the moment,” Smital added.
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Germany: Nuclear power phase-out — Wikipedia
Eight German nuclear power reactors (Biblis A and B, Brunsbuettel, Isar 1, Kruemmel, Neckarwestheim 1, Philippsburg 1 and Unterweser) were permanently shut down on 6 August 2011, following the Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster.
A nuclear power phase-out is the discontinuation of usage of nuclear power for energy production. Often initiated because of concerns about nuclear power, phase-outs usually include shutting down nuclear power plants and looking towards fossil fuels and renewable energy.
Three nuclear accidents have influenced the discontinuation of nuclear power: the 1979 Three Mile Island partial nuclear meltdown in the United States, the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the USSR, and the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.
Sweden (1980) was the first country to begin a phase-out which was repealed in 2009. Sweden was followed by Italy (1987), Belgium (1999), and Germany (2000). Austria and Spain have enacted laws to cease construction on new nuclear power stations. Several other European countries have debated phase-outs.
Following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Germany has permanently shut down eight of its 17 reactors and pledged to close the rest by the end of 2022. Italy voted overwhelmingly to keep their country non-nuclear. Switzerland and Spain have banned the construction of new reactors. Japan’s prime minister has called for a dramatic reduction in Japan’s reliance on nuclear power. Taiwan’s president did the same. Shinzō Abe, the new prime minister of Japan since December 2012, announced a plan to re-start some of the 54 Japanese nuclear power plants (NPPs) and to continue some NPP sites under construction.
As of 2013, countries such as Australia, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Norway remain opposed to nuclear power. Germany and Switzerland are phasing-out nuclear power.
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