European Nuclear Power Debate
|Event Date/Time: Apr 21, 2006|
In the UK, the government’s much-trailed energy policy review looks at Britain’s energy needs and dilemmas over the next 50 years – and it has left the door open for future nuclear development. No new reactors have been built since the 1980s as accidents, rising decommissioning costs and the unsolved problem of nuclear waste have eroded political and public enthusiasm. However with soaring oil and gas prices, dwindling domestic fossil fuel reserves and pressure to tackle climate change, many argue that a new generation of reactors has to be considered.
After much public debate, nuclear power has been accepted in Finland. Germany will shut down all its nuclear reactors by 2020 but the current government is re-negotiating with energy companies the time limit for a shut down of nuclear power stations. In Sweden, despite extensive efforts to create alternatives for nuclear power, it is not likely that Sweden can complete the nuclear power phase-out by 2010 and it has been estimated that nuclear power plants in operation will stay in operation until 2050.
The nuclear industry still needs to win over a sceptical public in many countries and has to make clear nuclear power is cheap, reliable and environmentally friendly. However, to rebuild the public trust, the nuclear industry must solve its waste problems.
Does nuclear have a future in Europe? Should the UK build a new generation of nuclear reactors? If so, is it too late to fill the energy gap by nuclear?
This conference will discuss the prospects for Nuclear Energy in Europe from both an engineering/technical and political point of view. The present level of technology on issues from generation to waste management, licensing and security will be discussed.