Energy report

EU Wants Massive Nuclear Investment

Nuclear power plant in the czech republic Getty images
The path to safe energy supply never runs smooth.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The report comes at the same time as Germany’s utilities sue the government over its decision to close down nuclear power plants.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The European Commission predicts that more than half a trillion euros need to be invested in new and existing nuclear power plants by 2050.
    • New reactors are planned or being constructed in France, Finland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, Romania and the United Kingdom.
    • The average age of Europe’s 131 nuclear power plants is 30 years.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Europe’s energy providers should be making massive investments in the new construction of nuclear power plants, according to a European Commission report on the region’s energy supply.

This will require sums of €450 billion to €500 billion ($500 billion to $554 billion), by 2050, it says.

The report, a draft of which has been seen by Handelsblatt ahead of its publication in the coming weeks, is the first review of Europe’s nuclear economy since the reactor disaster in Fukushima, Japan, in March 2011.

Nuclear energy is unavoidable in Europe, due to growing power consumption, it states. At the same time, 90 percent of current capacities are outdated and will need to be replaced by 2050.

According to the European Commission’s estimates, alongside investing in new plants, the industry will also have to spend €45 billion to €50 billion to upgrade aging plants in order to keep them connected to the grid. “Many operators want to allow existing plants to operate longer than their original design intended,” the report stated.

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