Opinion: We need EU-wide nuclear power, and we need it now!

Nuclear power ought to be a bigger part of Europe’s climate politics, write Danish MEP Asger Christensen and Danish candidate for Parliament Jonas Pullich.
The Danish Liberal Party's Asger Christensen and Jonas Pullich. | Photo: Pr
The Danish Liberal Party's Asger Christensen and Jonas Pullich. | Photo: Pr
By Denmark’s liberal party’s Asger Christensen, MEP, and Jonas Pullich, aspiring MEP candidate; translated by christian radich hoffman

Nuclear energy is much more than mere green energy. It is the cheapest source of electricity, it is the most stable source, and its newest generation is above and beyond safe. So what are we waiting for?

This is the pressing question we were left with after our visit to a Finnish nuclear power plant last week. 

Here, we experienced first-hand the security of it all, how well it functions, and how much of a resource it is for green transitioning. Finland expects to be climate neutral in 2035 due to its nuclear energy. 

In the European Union, we have adopted an ambitious climate target of neutrality anno 2050. However, it should be self-evident that our continent won’t be climate neutral in less than 27 years unless we take action.

Let’s make one thing abundantly clear: If we are to reach our target, we need to use the entire toolbox in the hunt for green energies. We simply might not reach the finish line otherwise!

The worst decision Merkel [former Chancellor of German Angela Merkel] did was shutting down Germany’s nuclear energy. This made us all deeply dependent on Russian gas. And this, in turn, resulted in an actual energy crisis after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Suddenly, energy policy became security policy.

In an ever-tighter European collaborative, it is therefore of utmost importance that we get a grip on energy supplies. Here, we must ensure that nuclear energy takes up a key position. Even though we are good at solar and wind energy in Denmark, there is an energy void whenever the wind don’t blow and sun don’t shine.

Security of supply is paramount. Thus, a stable and CO2-neutral energy source such as nuclear energy must not be disregarded. Nuclear energy could help fill the void in times of poor weather conditions.

Meanwhile, there is been rapid developments in the newest generations of power plants.

Reactor safety has never been better. They cannot be used for nuclear armament, and they leave behind far less waste. Furthermore, the waste can be used for fuels.

And the reactors are no bigger than a forty-foot container. This means that all household’s in Odense, Denmark, could have their electricity demand met by the output of a single container.

Additionally, efficiency has been ramped up substantially. Of course, it is becoming increasingly cheap to produce nuclear power, meaning that it will end up being cheaper for consumers.

The benefits of nuclear energy simply cannot be ignored in the hunt for green energy. This is why we look to nuclear energy as part of the answer to the climate crisis. It cannot be the only solution, of course. We must continue with biogas, solar, and wind energies. But it will prove impossible to reach our goals without nuclear energy. It is about time we moved on the from the seventies’ slogan, ”Nuclear power, no thanks,” and relate to the new technology.

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