Nuclear Energy in Europe

Which European countries generate most of their electricity from nuclear power?


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Map of the Nuclear energy generation in Europe.

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As European countries are striving to reduce their CO2 emissions and look for cleaner sources of electricity generation, the debate about nuclear energy is heating up again. Although nuclear energy emits low amounts of CO2, it does create nuclear waste, which needs to be stored somewhere safe for a long time. Then there is also the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters, which had a massive impact on the surrounding environment and the people living nearby. These two things in particular, are the main reasons some people are concerned about nuclear energy.

As we can see on this map, European countries are still very divided when it comes to nuclear energy. The biggest difference is probably between France and Germany. France generates more than 70% of its electricity from nuclear power. In Germany, this is only 11.3%. The large number of shut down nuclear reactors shows that Germany has been steering away from nuclear energy for quite some time. In 2001, Germany generated 29.6% of its electricity from nuclear energy. Despite Germany being one of the biggest proponents of using more greener energy sources in Europe, it’s also probably the biggest opponent to nuclear energy. Italy is also an interesting case, as it used to have 4 nuclear power plants, but shut down all of them.

On this map we can see 2 things: The share of each country’s electricity generation that’s generated through nuclear energy and the location of all nuclear energy plants including those that are under construction or shut down. Keep in mind that this data says nothing about the electricity consumption. The IAEA has no data on how much electricity each country consumes that is generated by nuclear power. Some countries generate more electricity than they need and export it, others don’t generate enough electricity to meet their needs and need to import electricity.

Nuclear plants that are purely for scientific research are not shown on this map, as most of them don’t generate any electricity for the power grid. Some do generate small amounts for the power grid as a by-product. Only those listed at the IAEA website that have provided electricity to the power grid for multiple years, are marked on this map. Planned nuclear power plants are not included on this map, only those that are still under construction.

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