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Telephone: On the other hand, the uranium used in nuclear fuel is available from various countries with a long history of political stability, including Australia and Canada. This has a stabilising effect on uranium prices and supply. Any rise in uranium prices would have only a minor impact on the cost of a nuclear kilowatt-hour, as fuel makes up a comparatively small part of the total cost of producing nuclear electricity.

Nuclear power - Wikipedia

Power plants that burn fossil fuels are more fuel-intensive; producers and consumers therefore face a much greater risk of increased costs due to higher fuel prices. Many existing nuclear power plants have already been paid for. Their operating costs are therefore low, and the electricity produced is among the cheapest in comparison with other sources. Cost projections show that new power reactors will also be competitive, even assuming low gas prices and heavy subsidies for wind power.

More than 2 billion people world-wide have no access to electricity. World energy demand will continue to grow as populations increase and countries undergo industrial development and economic expansion. To meet these increasing demands, and to improve living standards for future generations, large increases in electricity generation will be necessary. Such increases must be achieved in a sustainable way that has the lowest possible environmental impact. However, nuclear may not be an ideal energy option in every part of the world, as certain regions have no power transmission network.

In addition, investment in nuclear may not be justified in areas where electricity demand is low. In Europe alone, climate-friendly nuclear electricity saves the emission of about million tonnes of CO 2 a year. CO 2 emissions can be further avoided by building new power reactors, upgrading existing nuclear plants to increase output and by extending plant operating lifetimes. All forms of energy, including nuclear, will be needed in the ongoing quest for sustainable development.

Specific options aimed at long-term solutions should not be excluded because of short-term political pressures. Atmospheric pollution and CO 2 emissions will surge, if the reactors are replaced by power plants that burn fossil fuels. However, nuclear can contribute to creating a sustainable energy system and thereby to sustainable development. The cells involved would cover square kilometres, a surface equivalent to the whole of the Brussels urban area within the city's ring road.

Here, the equivalent would be a ten kilometre-wide coastal area stretching from the northernmost point in Denmark, right around France, to the north-west tip of Spain. Nuclear Power Reactors in Europe.

Czech Republic. Slovak Republic. Overall Total.

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Design for the Environment/Power Generation for Ontario

The nuclear industry in Europe is strictly regulated and enjoys an excellent safety record — something the plant owners and operators are determined to maintain. Safety is the industry's top priority. This safety record has been achieved by high standards applied to the design, maintenance, and operation of nuclear installations — power stations, nuclear fuel manufacturing and reprocessing plants and installations for the processing and storage of radioactive waste. Research and development work has also played an important role in this area. The transport of radioactive materials is carried out under strict regulatory controls, and an excellent safety record has been maintained in this highly specialised field.

Full text issues

The highest possible safety standards, covering all modes of transport, are enforced at all times, in accordance with internationally agreed requirements. Since the start of the nuclear industrial era some 40 years ago, there has never been a transport accident resulting in the injury or death of an individual as a result of the radioactive nature of the cargo.


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Nor has there ever been any impact on public health or the environment. There are more than 10 million transports of radioactive material around the world each year. Most involve packages containing radioisotopes used in medicine, industry, agriculture or scientific research. In the past 40 years, about 30, tonnes of spent nuclear fuel have been transported safely around the world, across distances totalling more than 25 million kilometres — by road, rail and sea.

Regulations applied to the transport of radioactive materials are designed to ensure that the risks to public health and the environment are negligible. The prime objective is to protect people, property and the environment against the direct and indirect effects of radiation during transportation.

Techniques are already in use for the safe decommissioning of nuclear facilities and the restoration of nuclear sites.

Nuclear power

Actual decommissioning costs are turning out to be lower than originally predicted, thanks to technological advances and to the accumulation and sharing of technical know-how and data. The European nuclear industry includes companies that are world leaders in the huge global market for plant decommissioning and site restoration. Nuclear safety is of fundamental importance world-wide, but concerns about it should not be stimulated without foundation, nor used in a purely political context to prevent or delay the accession of countries wishing to join the European Union.

The current principles covering the accession issue date back to a time when the Chernobyl accident was still fresh in people's minds. New guidelines are needed to take account of the considerable progress made in improving the safety of Russian-design reactors. A great deal of Western assistance has gone into achieving these improvements. Discussions about the use of nuclear power in the accession states should focus primarily on the current status of safety at the plants concerned.