European countries are scrambling to rejigger their domestic energy policies in an effort to reduce dependence on Russian fuel, with many now moving back toward nuclear power after years of shunning it, according to FOX Business.
France embraces nuclear: “French President Emmanuel Macron was the first to show a change of heart, saying in November that France would build new nuclear reactors for the first time in decades for energy independence and national security.”
- In a speech given shortly before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Macron called “for a nuclear renaissance.”
- Earlier in his presidency, Macron had promised to cut France’s dependence on nuclear energy from 75% to 50%.
Others change their tunes, too: “Over the past week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been meeting with nuclear industry leaders ahead of his plans to roll out new energy policies for the country. An aide of Johnson’s told Reuters the plan will involve building new plants as quickly as possible to get Britain back to getting 25% or more of its electric power from nuclear.”
- Last week in Belgium, which had previously planned to phase out its use of nuclear power entirely by 2025, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced an extension of that timeline and said the government could keep its nuclear facilities running for another 10 years.
“A turnaround”—with a caveat: “‘We’re seeing a turnaround on nuclear power that we didn’t see a year ago,’ says Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of S&P Global and author of ‘The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations.’ ‘But there is one caveat,’ Yergin told FOX Business. ‘Russia is a major supplier of nuclear fuel.’”
The NAM says: “Watching our partners in Europe wake up again to nuclear energy is exciting for manufacturers; we have been calling for energy diversification for a long time—we can’t have clean energy and energy security without it,” said NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones.
- “We have to not only start deploying more next-generation nuclear but also keep an eye on our supply chains. That’s why the NAM has been calling on policymakers to prioritize not only nuclear R&D, workforce and licensing—but to also prioritize domestic fuel production.”