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Nuclear energy, an environmental oasis

Session 32 Amphi 2 July 7, 2024 10:15 - 11:15


The long debates that preceded the European Commission’s inclusion of nuclear power on the list of green energies speak for themselves. Having received the Commission’s “DNSH” (Do Not Significantly Harm) criterion, nuclear power remains a widely divisive issue.

The consensus across the political spectrum is that nuclear power is one of the least greenhouse-gas-emitting energy sources. In fact, it is the pre-eminence of nuclear power in the French energy mix that enables France to emit half as much energy-related CO2 as Germany. In addition, the development of nuclear power guarantees the autonomy of part of the country’s electricity production, thus contributing to energy security.

Reservations remain, however, about the ecological and economic costs of nuclear power, in particular the cost of building new plants, uranium mining, the risk of a nuclear accident and the treatment of radioactive waste. So, is nuclear power still essential for a successful ecological transition, or is it merely an ecological oasis?