Reducing nuclear capacity in the EU must result in switching to fossil fuels

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Published on 06/07/2022

“In the EU electricity mix that is still 40% fossil, this reduction of the nuclear capacity cannot therefore be done without benefiting hydrocarbons and, for the most part, coal and gas.”

Tristan Kamin, administrator of the Voices, in La Tribune

“However in Germany, France, Sweden but also in Belgium or #pain, none of the recent or announced closures is justified for security reasons: these are the fruits of political or economic decisions.”

“1,000 MW of nuclear power saved (i.e. approximately one reactor), therefore potentially, each year, 6 to 8 TWh of gas electricity saved, i.e. 1,000 to 1,800 million cubic meters of gas no longer imported: 2 % to 3% of NordStream gas pipeline capacity wiped out.”

“The last three German reactors, whose closure is announced for the end of 2022, are among the most efficient in the world, less than 35 years old and therefore rich in production potential and delivering, between them, 32 TWh of low-carbon electricity every year”

“This is the magnitude of the dilemma that could arise for Germany: increase German imports of Russian gas by 10%, 6.5 billion cubic meters for 10 billion euros for the benefit of the conquest of the east of Ukraine, or continue to consume 10% of Canadian uranium production, 650 tons for 100 million euros for the benefit of the Canadian economy.

“Let’s ask the question collectively to the German Federal State: what problem does the closure of these three reactors claim to solve, and what weight does this represent in the face of the problems posed in return?”

“In France, several nuclear reactors are currently shut down under the precautionary principle. It would be relevant to ask whether this principle should be applied at any price, or whether arbitrations are to be carried out with regard to the needs in gas that it induces or will induce next winter, this time with more than 10 GW of nuclear power capacity at stake.”

“More broadly, it is necessary to look at the whole range of solutions that would make it possible to disconnect Europe from Vladimir Putin, to close the floodgates of liquidity that are exchanged for hydrocarbons and the blood of Ukrainians. These means of action may not all be able to be implemented, but each should be observed, analysed, evaluated and debated.”