But for the most part, nuclear energy is on the upswing. Areva, based in France, is Europe’s leading nuclear energy company and it is reporting once again rising sales and profits.
And although Germany has moved to end its use of nuclear energy, Areva’s German subsidiary, located in Erlangen, is become a worldwide bestseller for its nuclear energy security technology.
Nearly two years ago on March 11th, 2011, a tsunami off the coast of Japan resulted in a melt down of the insufficiently protected nuclear power installations in Fukushima on Japan’s east coast, the paper wrote.
The Fukushima catastrophe resulted in a complete about face for Chancellor Angela Merkel on nuclear policy. She had favoured extending operating authorisations for the country’s nuclear plants, but closed eight of the 17 after Fukushima and announced that Germany would no longer use nuclear energy by 2022.
But other countries don’t see nuclear energy that way, according to the Association of Nuclear Power Operators and Manufacturers in Germany.
In a report in a trade publication, the group said all 30 nuclear energy producing countries were allowing their nuclear installations to live out their expected lives of a least 40-years of use and in most cases would let them run for 60 years.
“A majority of these countries are replacing their old installations with new ones,” the group said, adding that at least seven additional countries, including the United Arab Emirates Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Vietnam have decided to start using nuclear energy.
The German industry association said an additional seven countries, including Argentina, Brazil, China, Sweden, Canada and South Africa – have started new nuclear projects. China has 28 plants under construction, of which seven were started after Fukushima.
While German and Japan are the only two countries opting for an end to nuclear power, the group noted that several European countries have moved to curtail their reliance on this energy form.
France wants to reduce its current 80 percent dependency on nuclear power to 50 percent by 2025. The Netherlands announced a new construction moratorium. Belgium, Switzerland and Spain limited the length of time its current installations can operate and Italy decided to not move forward with its plans to re-enter the nuclear power industry.