Authors: Bob Van der Zwaan
Addresses: Policy Studies Department, Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), P.O. Box 56890, 1040 AW, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Abstract: This paper adds to the debate about the role of nuclear power in sustainable development by providing an overview of its current status and future prospects in Europe. The main economic and environmental concerns that nuclear energy could mitigate – energy dependency, air pollution and climate change – are analysed over three time frames. Particularly important are five problematic features of nuclear energy: waste management, proliferation security, operation safety, economic competitiveness and public acceptance. The main conclusion is that Europe|s nuclear capacity is unlikely to change significantly over the next two decades. Its prospects beyond 2025 will depend on the relative weight given to the benefits and drawbacks of nuclear power, as well as the long-term sustainability implications of the use of all energy resources.
Keywords: nuclear energy; nuclear power; Europe; sustainable development; supply security; air pollution; climate change; waste management; nuclear proliferation; reactor safety; energy economics; public acceptance; sustainability; nuclear capacity.
International Journal of Global Energy Issues, 2008 Vol.30 No.1/2/3/4, pp.102 - 121
Published online: 12 Aug 2008 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article