Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

The future of green power

An EU-sponsored conference undertook to discuss the consequences of the Fukushima accident for the future of low-carbon energy, including nuclear energy, in Europe. Work consisted of organising and managing a major 2012 conference, which set up further conferences and yielded recommendations for future low-carbon options.
The future of green power
Nuclear power is one of Europe's principal low-carbon source of electricity, accounting for about one third of total capacity. Yet, Japan's Fukushima tsunami and nuclear accident in 2011 severely shook European confidence in the nuclear industry.

The EU-funded ENERGY CHALLENGES 12 (Tomorrow's energy challenges 2012) project organised a conference having the same title as the project. The conference addressed the key issues and served as a forum for discussing nuclear and non-nuclear options, and the feasibility of combining both.

About 800 participants – including politicians, decision-makers and researchers – attended the September 2012 event. The meeting included formal expert presentations and informal discussions concerning numerous key topics, as follows. What factors limit the integration of nuclear energy into fluctuating supplies of renewable energy? What would be the economic and greenhouse gas effects on the energy system of extension of nuclear operating licences? What would be the macroeconomic costs of phasing out nuclear power? Would such phase-outs make Europe dependent on unstable fossil fuel-producing states? How could the safety of all remaining nuclear plants be guaranteed? What are the prospects of achieving geothermal energy and increase in dam capacity?

The conference also discussed the ongoing need for nuclear engineers for a further two generations, and the issue of public confidence as regards the storage of radioactive waste.

ENERGY CHALLENGES 12 published three reports detailing conference outcomes. An important result was that the conference helped set up subsequent conferences in Africa, Asia and Europe. The group also achieved various other dissemination outcomes, including live web streaming of the conference and a Swiss television programme on the subject.

The project's main impact was to foster debate on how to transform the energy system and the role nuclear energy can play in this transition.

Related information


Nuclear power, ENERGY CHALLENGES 12, radioactive waste
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top