Preliminary findings of a new independent study on the status of the nuclear industry were presented today in the European Parliament at a press conference hosted by the Greens/EFA group (1). The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2010-11 (the final version of which will be presented to the Worldwatch Institute in Washington on the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster) makes clear that the nuclear industry was in decline even prior to the nuclear accident in Fukushima. The Greens have called for the EU to outline a new safe and sustainable energy strategy based on the phase-out of nuclear power. Speaking at the presentation of the study, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said:
"This report makes clear that the world nuclear industry is in far poorer shape than its aggressive PR campaign would lead you to believe. Even before Fukushima and the renewed nuclear safety concerns provoked by the accident, the decline of the nuclear industry was evident. If one good thing can come from the nuclear accident in Japan, it is that we have now reached the final chapter for nuclear power.
"With many of the existing nuclear plants reaching the end of their lifespan, and rethinks on nuclear in a number of countries since Fukushima (most recently yesterday in Italy), we can expect the share of nuclear power to decline more noticeably in the coming years."
Green MEP Bas Eickhout added:
"25 years on from Chernobyl, we are starting to witness a decline in the output of nuclear power, while, on the other hand, renewable energy is booming, with renewable energy capacity ahead of nuclear power in terms of installed capacity for the first time in 2010. Concerns about nuclear safety clearly remain as relevant today as they were 25 years ago. What has changed is that we now have a completely viable, safe and sustainable alternative for power generation, namely renewable energy. All that is lacking is the political will to finally ensure a safe and sustainable energy future for Europe and beyond."
(1) A draft of the report (pdf) is available here