The Centre for European Reform (CER) has now published my short report on what the EU should do about nuclear power after the events at Fukushima. In this, I argue that the EU should continue to support nuclear power as a low-carbon bridge technology until Europe can be 100% reliant on renewable energy – which will take several decades.
As a general rule, European countries should use tried-and-tested technologies to make the transition to a low-carbon economy rather than spend money developing new technologies such as nuclear fusion. However, reactors which use thorium as a liquid fuel – which cannot melt down – should be an exception to this approach. Such reactors would reduce the amount of nuclear waste produced and help deal with existing waste stockpiles. They would also reduce the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation.
China and the USA are now taking thorium liquid reactors seriously. Europe is not, so risks losing out on the economic benefits of a safer form of nuclear power.
The report can be found at Centre for European Reform Policy Brief: Thorium – How to save Europe’s nuclear revival.