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Nuclear Power - Myth and Reality The risks and prospects of by Gerd Rosenkranz

By Gerd Rosenkranz

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While insurance companies issue policies that differ from country to country based on respective anticipated total costs, the share of damages they will assume in every case is ridiculously small. Nuclear technology thus occupies an absolutely unique position. Half a century after entering commercial markets, fuelled by subsidies in the billions, it still requires and receives state support for every new project - precisely as if it needed assistance to enter the market for the first time. Astonishingly, this extraordinary practice is also advocated and demanded by those politicians who otherwise loudly insist on "more market conditions" in the energy sector.

For Framatome ANP (66 percent owned by the French nuclear group Areva and 34 percent by German Siemens) and its predecessor companies, the Okiluoto reactor in Finland is the first contract in about 15 years. It is politicians and journalists more so than vendors who are promoting the idea of a renaissance in nuclear energy. They believe that adding nuclear power to existing energy policies will make it easier to meet short-term climate control obligations, and to avoid power shortages. This has consequences.

Responsibility is borne by all developed industrial countries and many newly developed countries that have not yet made any or significant use of nuclear power. It is clear though that the new energy structure will no longer depend exclusively, and probably no longer primarily, on large power plants. In addition, the future does not lie in resuscitating risky technology from the middle of the last century based on traditional energy economic interests. There has yet to be a renaissance of nuclear energy.

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