Combat climate change with nuclear energy?

Rising energy prices coupled with the need to reduce emissions are shifting the focus back to nuclear power - and not just in France. Europe's commentators discuss whether nuclear power plants can be seen as a sustainable option under the current circumstances.

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Phileleftheros (CY) /

Problematic but emission-free

Phileleftheros explains why nuclear power is once again increasingly under discussion despite the unresolved problem of nuclear waste and the public's fear of disasters:

“Under normal circumstances, few would discuss a return to nuclear power today. ...Nevertheless, due to the massive turbulence on the energy market and the explosion in gas and oil prices, we are seeing the case being made for its usefulness once more. Currently, the European Union's plans do not include the use of nuclear energy. However, the question is becoming ever louder. Could it be the means that will allow us to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions?”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Don't give up coal and nuclear power simultaneously

Dagens Nyheter says the situation is clear:

“Germany's phasing out of nuclear power is increasing its dependence on fossil fuels and driving up energy prices. It's a lousy combination that highlights how it will hardly be possible for Europe to move away from fossil fuels and nuclear power at the same time; an observation that also applies to Sweden. Here, a significant proportion of electricity is generated using nuclear power. And this will remain the case for the foreseeable future.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Seek true sustainability

Columnist Peter de Waard explains in De Volkskrant why it would be unwise to go along with the new arguments of the nuclear power lobby:

“It has long been clear that building nuclear power plants takes a long time - sometimes 15 years - is very expensive, and that nuclear energy produces a lot of mess (waste and dismantling). And even though nuclear energy is relatively safe, the consequences if it goes wrong are enormous (Chernobyl and Fukushima). It would be much wiser to hope that human ingenuity can find ways to make better use of truly sustainable sources (wind and solar) by 2050, and also to make them less dependent on the weather.”