Wednesday, January 16, 2008
A Look at Nuclear Power Across Europe
January 12, 2008
Britain on Thursday approved the construction of a new generation of nuclear power plants. European governments have taken widely differing stances on the divisive issue. Several countries — including Denmark, Norway and Portugal — have no nuclear power. A look at atomic energy in several European countries:
_FRANCE: A world leader in nuclear power: 59 reactors provide more than 70 percent of the country's electricity. President Nicolas Sarkozy has campaigned for more countries to adopt nuclear power to combat global warming.
_GERMANY: Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to abide by a previous government's decision to close all the country's 17 nuclear reactors by 2021.
_THE NETHERLANDS: One nuclear plant still in operation. Was to have been shut down in 2013, but in 2006 the government won a fight to extend its life to 2033.
_ITALY: Banned nuclear power after a 1987 referendum; the government opposes its reintroduction.
_SPAIN: Has six nuclear power plants, but there is a 23-year-old moratorium on building new ones.
_SWEDEN: Decided in 1997 to phase out nuclear power, which accounts for about half of electricity production. But so far only two of the country's 12 reactors have been closed and the country is struggling to find alternatives.
_FINLAND: Four nuclear reactors provide about a quarter of the country's electricity; currently constructing a fifth.