A few months back, French president, Emmanuel Macron, announced that France would build new nuclear reactors, reiterating the role that nuclear power plays in helping the country meet its climate change targets and keeping electricity costs under control. Most recently, the coallition to form a government in the Netherlands also announced their plans to develop nuclear energy facilities to meet climate targets in the coming years.
The policy shift is in stark contrast to that pursued in other countries where a post-Fukushima nuclear phase out has not only increased electricity prices but also led to abandoning of emissions goals (reverting to fossil fuels to cover up for the deficit).
Nuclear energy produces much lower emissions than fossil sources such as coal, oil or gas. Nuclear plants have, however, in recent years become relatively expensive to build in some countries partly due to the deterioration of the supply chain and negative public opinion.
With close to 50% of its electricity coming from nuclear sources, France is a global behemoth in the nuclear energy sector. France is more dependent than any other country on nuclear energy, but its reactors are aging and with this there is a need of a new generation of employees to drive the transition.
Given the recent announcement that states the goal of reaching 75% before the end of the decade, pundits are already talking of a “Nuclear Power Renaissance” in Europe.