EU member states are facing a €253bn bill for nuclear waste and plant decommissioning
The European Commission has carried out an analysis of Europe’s current nuclear industry and has found that the nuclear waste management budget is short by $120bn, as ageing nuclear plants need to be decommissioned and new plants must be built to meet current EU safety regulations.
According to the report, EU member states will have to invest €130 billion on nuclear waste management and €123 billion on decommissioning old atomic plants. It would appear that only the UK has set enough funds aside to cover the approaching financial burden.
The Nuclear Illustrative Programme of the Commission (Pinc) report focuses upon Europe’s nuclear situation until 2050. It suggests that 90% of the nuclear power plants currently spread across 16 EU nations will be decommissioned by 2050; with the majority of them to be closed within the next 10 years.
This will create a 20% deficit within Europe’s electricity supply, as nuclear power accounts for 27% of the continent’s energy generation. Nuclear energy is considered less harmful to the environment, producing less air pollution than fossil fuel energy, but the disposal of nuclear radioactive waste poses a definite problem for global nations.
The European Commission’s report was initiated following the Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster. The report states that EU member states are looking at a further €500bn to replace the old atomic plants with new plants that meet EU safety and environment regulations.
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