Read our dossier "Nuclear Power in Europe: 35 Years After the Chernobyl Disaster".
Due to its lower-carbon intensity compared to fossil fuels, some people consider nuclear power a solution to the climate crisis. This fact sheet debunks the myth that nuclear is an answer to the challenges of the 21st century, focusing on the example of France, the European country that is by far the most dependent on this form of electricity generation today.
Firstly, its deployment is very slow so that it is not a relevant energy in the face of the urgency of climate change, which requires solutions that will already have a strong impact within the next 10 years.
Secondly, nuclear energy has many natural or geopolitical risks and is intermittent itself. It is an energy that requires a lot of water and the risk of a global water shortage is becoming more and more significant. This also leads to the shutdown of reactors during heat waves, which will continue to increase in the coming years. In addition, nuclear power produces waste that we do not yet know how to deal with and for which the issue of safe containment has not been resolved.
Finally, nuclear power is an increasingly expensive technology. Renewables are clearly outcompeting nuclear.
The fact sheet shows that nuclear power is not a "need" but a political choice: do we want to continue in this direction or make a transition to a 100% renewable electricity mix?