Top 10 Countries With Nuclear Power

The scarcity of resources as well as the constantly growing global population has determined scientists to find a long-term solution for people’s increasing needs. While there is still much work to be done in resolving the issue of world hunger for instance, at this point it can be affirmed that science discovered an answer for environmentally friendly energy generation: nuclear power.

Compared to other energy sources, nuclear power is able to generate electricity at a fraction of the cost, while emitting an insignificant amount of greenhouse gases. Considering that generating energy via nuclear facilities entails major risks (think of Fukushima and Chernobyl for example), the debate of whether nations should switch to nuclear is rather sensible. Nonetheless, several countries have already implemented and are currently dependant on energy derived from nuclear power.

 

1. France

France has been always looking for a good way to gain its energetic independence and nuclear power was just the thing the country needed. Having 76% nuclear energy, France is not only the nation most dependent on nuclear power, but it is also the state that is least affected by the crashes of the oil market. What is impressive is that the rest of the energy is generated via hydropower, two facts that make France one of the most socially responsible countries in the world, at least in terms of greenhouse gases emissions.

 

2. Belgium

Nuclear power is Belgium represents a true reason for concern: while the country’s electricity is a little of 54% nuclear, in the past few years they have been experiencing some problems with seven of their reactors. So far, there have been several discussions about a 40 year plan to shut the reactors down and upgrade their security levels. However, if these measures were to be implemented, then they could have a significant negative impact on the economy, starting with the fact that the utility bills would double.

 

3. Lithuania

If you are a supporter of nuclear power, then it is very likely that you heard about the Ignalina, which was the biggest reactor in the world at some point and once used to account for 72% of Lithuania’s energy. Despite Lithuania’s high dependency on the reactor, Ignalina had to be shut-down because it presented way too many similarities with the reactor from Chernobyl. Even though their electricity bill has been a pain since 2009, Lithuanian officials have planned to build two new reactors until 2018.

 

4. Ukraine

In spite of the devastating effects of the nuclear incident of Chernobyl, Ukraine continued to invest in nuclear energy, which these days accounts for almost half of the country’s energy. While a certain percentage of the population is still deeply troubled by the idea that a nuclear accident can happen any minute, in reality Ukraine has no other choice. Its geographical position, the tense relationships with the Russian officials who threaten to stop supplying natural gas almost every winter as well as the cold climate are the main elements that keep Ukraine reliant on nuclear power.

 

5. Slovakia

Slovakia is among the top countries that have decided to take advantage of the cheap nuclear power and is even thinking of constructing two more reactors in the near future. However, Slovakia is faced with a major problem: considering the small size of the country, site selection for the new reactors is actually very difficult. Still there is a viable solution: they could try to reopen the two reactors that the EU has forced them to close in the 1990s due to safety reasons.

 

6. Hungary

According to the European Energy Commission, the development of wind and solar power in Hungary are practically inexistent. Moreover, the Hungarian officials did not announce any plans to use the might of the Danube watercourse in order to produce energy. As you can see, Hungary is practically forced to rely on nuclear power in order to account for the country’s electricity needs. While they hope to stimulate economic growth via cheap energy, the costs of production at this point are rather high, considering that Hungary imports uranium from Russia.

 

7. Sweden

Even before the Chernobyl disaster, the Swedish officials ruled nuclear power out of the possible energy sources for the country. Yet, in 2009 Sweden has reconsidered the original decision and nowadays, they own 3 nuclear plants accounting for over 42% of the country’s energy. Nevertheless, the topic of nuclear capacity is controversial in Sweden, especially since its effects on the GDP cannot be predicted. In addition, there are a lot of worries in regards to the nuclear security as well as the possibility of a disaster after the Barseback shutdown.

 

8. Slovenia

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Slovenia has known an impressive economic growth. Since a heavy weight economy could not be sustained by their current energy resources, Slovenia had to rely on the cheap and effective nuclear power. However, Slovenia did more than that and its Westinghouse nuclear plants do not only account for over 41% of the country’s energy needs, but also contribute to the per capita GDP growth (it is estimated that Slovenia sells about 6 million kWh to the neighboring countries).

 

9. Switzerland

Not until long ago, Switzerland relied on the numerous lakes and mountaintops to produce energy. However, with the alarming global warming affects, the country had to switch to the next best thing, namely nuclear power. In fact, the developments in this sector were quite impressive, considering that Switzerland currently gets 40% of the energy from nuclear facilities.

 

10. Armenia

While the notorious Metsamor nuclear complex produced approximately 40% of Armenia’s energy, the reactor is closely monitored and labeled as one of the biggest threats in this part of the world. In spite of the fact that several organizations have clearly asked for the decommissioning of the reactor and the Armenian officials promised to close it by 2004, the Metsamor remains the main source of energy. The good news is that Armenia is currently working close with Turkey to build a new and safer reactor on the Metsamor grounds.

 

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  • Andy

    First of all – building of Slovenia’s nuclear power plant (there is only one) had nothing to do with dissolution of the Soviet Union, since Slovenia was never a part of Soviet Union. Slovenia was one of the republics in Yugoslavia. Anyway the power plant was built years before the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the power was exported to other republics. It is true that Slovenia is exporting electricity from the nuclear plant, since population of Slovenia is only little over 2 milion and also becouse Slovenia has lots of hydropower plants.