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Germany has recently announced that while they’ll keep two of their nuclear power plants operational during the winter, they’re still planning to shut them down in the spring. But why aren’t they doing a complete U-turn and keeping the nuclear power plants permanently active in addition to building new ones? It seems like a viable option to deal with Russian energy supplies going away.

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    Comments deleted. Please remember that comments are for discussing the question itself. They are not for answering the question or for debating its subject matter. See also the help center article on the commenting privilege.
    – Philipp
    Sep 28, 2022 at 12:59
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    This question has several answers that say "because the German people don't support it," but that seems to me kind of trivially circular--"Germany [the state] opposes nuclear power because Germany [the collective citizenry] opposes nuclear power," and then the interesting thing would be why public sentiment is what it is. @JonathanReez could you clarify--did you mean specifically the government, or are you also asking about the reasons for anti-nuclear sentiment in German public opinion/popular discourse?
    – Tiercelet
    Sep 29, 2022 at 20:59
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    @Tiercelet I'm interested in German arguments based on nuclear engineering facts rather than emotions, if any such facts exist Sep 29, 2022 at 21:04
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    @JonathanReez "I'm interested in German arguments based on nuclear engineering facts" This is a politics site where you get arguments based on politics. These can be supported by engineering facts but will also include how you weigh these facts, which necessarily includes value judgements. (How much danger is acceptable? How much money are you willing to spend? What even are your goals?) While engineering can be used to achieve goals, it can not be used to establish them, because the latter ultimately does come down to values and emotions.
    – xyldke
    Sep 30, 2022 at 7:50

11 Answers 11

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Because the majority of the electorate is opposed to nuclear power.

In particular, Green and Social Democrat voters are against it. Thus, the current coalition (of Social Democrats, Greens and Liberal Democrats) cannot change its position on nuclear power. The current crisis didn't change the main concerns against nuclear power and, since building new plants would be very costly and time-consuming, that isn't considered to be a solution to the short-term issue. There is also political consensus that there are better long-term solutions than nuclear power.

Image from above link translated by Yandex translate.
Red text my interpretation. [RM]

enter image description here

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    That is the simple answer: nothing has changed. Sep 28, 2022 at 23:01
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    "Better long term solution" for the people who are going to survive this winter. Long term solution is no good for the dead. Sep 30, 2022 at 12:54
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    Here in germany, we have quite a lot of people stuck in "dogmatic argumentation" - the "green faction" of the parliament are the successors of old environmental protestors from the 60s - where nuclear power plants where framed as the pure evil. This is a farce since that means further use of coal power plants to produce enough energy, or importing nuclear power from france. You gotta love the irony in that. Hopefully, nuclear fusion reactors achieve a major breakthrough until 2035 - but even then, fusion reactors have some form of nuclear waste - and the argument starts anew
    – clockw0rk
    Sep 30, 2022 at 13:00
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    @clockw0rk There is no chance that nuclear fusion will help us avert catastrophic climate change. Even if there is a breakthrough, it will simply come too late to help us there.
    – gerrit
    Sep 30, 2022 at 13:18
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    @clockw0rk Well, maybe. I was basing my prediction on the ITER-style plants, which are huge, and even in the best case it will take decades before any deliver electricity to the grid commercially. It also remains to be seen what the LCOE will be. I wouldn't bet on it being a major player in the 21st century or perhaps ever (but the science and engineering is awesome and should certainly continue).
    – gerrit
    Sep 30, 2022 at 13:57
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That would be the 4th u-turn in German nuclear energy policy. The other 3 were.

  • 2000, when the SPD/Greens coalition government under Gerhard Schröder decided the "Atomausstieg". To phase out nuclear power by 2020.
  • 2010, when the CDU/FDP government under Angela Merkel decided to increase the time the existing nuclear powerplants could run ("Atomausstiegausstieg")
  • 2011, when the Fukushima Daiichi power plant had a meltdown, and the same government decided that nuclear power should be phased out rather sooner than later. They decided that the last nuclear power plants should go offline in late 2022. ("Atomausstiegausstiegausstieg")

And here we are, in 2022, with the energy crisis caused by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Most nuclear power plants in Germany are already offline or in the process of being taken offline. And so is all the infrastructure required for operating them. Reactivating them would be a huge financial investment, if possible at all. And yet there are plans to do exactly this with at least two nuclear power plants. Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim are supposed to stay online at least until early 2023 (German source).

Why not build new nuclear power plants? The problem is that nuclear power capacity isn't something you can just create out of thin air. Building a new nuclear power plant is a huge project that takes at least a decade of planning and execution. If Germany decided to build new nuclear power plants today, they probably wouldn't go online until the mid 2030s. The geopolitical and energy situation could look completely different then.

However, Germany, or rather the EU in general, already has a strategy in place to replace fossil fuels. The plan is for the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050. The lack of fossil fuels from Russia has only increased the pressure to execute this plan rather sooner than later. This plan does not include increased production of nuclear power. Why? Because nuclear power is one of the most expensive forms of energy. It's just not economically competitive with wind and solar, in combination with hydropower, biofuel and green hydrogen for compensating peak loads or times of Dunkelflaute ("dark lull", when there is neither wind nor sun).

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    Calling all these decisions U-turns is a bit of an exaggeration. “Atomausstieg” was a cornerstone of the Greens' programme in the 90s, so it couldn't really be a surprise that the phase out would be decided after they got into government 1998, and at 20 years ahead this did have enough time to plan it out. Somewhat similar for 2010. Fukushima did prompt a U-turn under a conservative government, and right now for a government with Greens (much bigger than they were in 1998) extending is again a decision they don't like to make. Sep 29, 2022 at 9:12
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    Ad "Nuclear is one of the most expesinve forms of energy": On the linked wikipedia page, the cost per kWh seems to be near the cheapest except hydro. One study found it to be very expensive, but did not disclose how it got these numbers. And even that study found that prolonging the operations of existing nuclear power plants is the cheapest (granted, it didn't investigate hydro power). Also, solar and wind require electricity storage which seems to not be priced in.
    – Tomeamis
    Sep 29, 2022 at 9:16
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    @Tomeamis the amount of false statements about nuclear is significant even in the answers to this very question. It seems like everyone answering are taking the governments official beliefs at face value. Sep 29, 2022 at 14:06
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    @Tomeamis See our world in data for some data on the cost of nuclear power and renewables.
    – gerrit
    Sep 30, 2022 at 7:49
  • Concur with @leftroundabout -- those aren't U-turns, those are schedule changes in response to changing circumstances. This is how long-term planning works.
    – Shadur
    Sep 30, 2022 at 10:26
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Because the energy crisis is a temporary issue and it doesn't change any of the issues they have with nuclear power. There are many issues with nuclear power around the disposal and storage of the various waste products and spent fuel from the plant. Those issues are still present regardless of there being an energy crisis and will still be present after the crisis is over. There is also the issue that building a new nuclear power plant takes time and won't likely be complete until after the crisis.

In short nothing about nuclear power has changed because of this to make them want to build new plants.

Edit:

In fact the current situation could be causing more people to oppose nuclear power due to the risks being faced in Ukraine. Currently there is a lot of concern around several plants and damage being caused by the conflict that could cause damage to the area and nearby countries. While you will likely brush this off as misguided and the least of Ukraine's problems that is not how other countries see it.

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    The concerns surrounding effects of the war on nuclear plants in Ukraine are very real, but I'm not sure how that affects building nuclear plants in Germany. Is there actual concern that someone would invade Germany?
    – reirab
    Sep 28, 2022 at 20:30
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    @reirab War is not the only reason accidents can happen to a nuclear plant as various terrorist attacks around the world over the years have repeatedly shown. How the damage doesn't matter but the impact of that damage after the fact.
    – Joe W
    Sep 28, 2022 at 20:32
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    True, but guarding a nuclear plant against terrorist attacks is much easier than guarding one against a land invasion by one of the world's largest armies with lots of tanks and artillery. Even with a dam, protection against a terrorist attack is a serious threat that must be mitigated, but it's a on a completely different level than actual invasion by a major military power.
    – reirab
    Sep 28, 2022 at 20:55
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    @reirab That doesn't change or remove the concerns that people have about a plant being damaged and the fallout from that damage.
    – Joe W
    Sep 28, 2022 at 21:02
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    @reirab: It doesn't matter how real or unreal the concerns are. It matters whether or not people have those concerns. Germany is a democracy, so if enough voters have concerns, it's not gonna happen. In particular, the two big partners in the current government coalition both have been running on an anti-nuclear platform for decades, and their voter base is staunchly anti-nuclear. In fact, one of the two parties is a political outgrowth of the anti-nuclear movement. Sep 28, 2022 at 23:40
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There are several good reasons not to do so:

  • It would not help in the current crisis. If you start building new Nuclear Power Plants now, it would take years until they work.
  • Power Plants just postpone the problem to the future. Almost no one has an idea what to do with the nuclear waste. It will take millenia until the waste is gone. Taking into account what happened during the past only 200 years, it would be insane to think a chosen place will be untouched by humans, other beings and natural disasters for the next 10000 years.
  • Uranium is not infinite.
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    "Almost no one has an idea what to do with the nuclear waste." That's not true. There is a standard process for disposal of nuclear waste that has been in place for decades, and there is ongoing research into ways of re-using or recycling of such material so that long-term storage is either no longer hazardous, or no longer necessary at all.
    – F1Krazy
    Sep 29, 2022 at 6:58
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    Ongoing research may be successful, but it may also fail. To rely on the result of these researches is like doing nothing against the climate change because one day there will be some technology solving the problem or god will send one of his angels to restore the ecosystem. Who knows what the result of ongoing research will be? We cannot rely only on that.
    – Zero
    Sep 29, 2022 at 8:45
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    @F1Krazy I think the point is that the decommissioning costs cannot be accurately assessed. Nuclear energy looks cheap until you add in the possible end-of-life costs of the reactors. France is laughing at the rest of Europe at the moment as they have the largest nuclear production. But who knows what their future costs will be. I have serious concerns that Britain seems set to follow the French road rather than the German.
    – WS2
    Sep 29, 2022 at 11:54
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    You don’t need to wait for any research. Spent fuel is not particularly hazardous and can be dumped into any mine and sealed with concrete. It’s only considered a problem because Green parties like to pretend as if it’s a big deal. Sep 29, 2022 at 14:09
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    Uranium is not infinite, but neither is anything else, including the materials used to make wind turbines. From a quick glance, it doesn't look that the supplies of available uranium are a serious limitation on nuclear power in the near future.
    – prosfilaes
    Sep 29, 2022 at 16:12
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keeping the nuclear power plants permanently active in addition to building new ones

Nuclear power is not seen as a good solution for providing electric energy in Germany. And indeed it may not be. Just look at France who depends on nuclear power much more and had quite some problems this summer (French Nuclear Power Crisis Frustrates Europe’s Push to Quit Russian Energy). So building new power plants, especially with the planned further increase of renewables doesn't make sense. Letting run nuclear power plants forever equally would collide with increased renewables. Nuclear power will very likely be phased out in Germany at some point.

The major concern currently is getting through the current crisis but that's expected to be a limited in time event. The government increased the running time of some nuclear power plants to next year spring, but then maybe they will increase the running time again. Nobody knows.

I think that the government sees nuclear power plants as an insurance but as for an insurance you only want to pay for it as short a duration as possible.

Indeed there is no shortage of electric energy in Germany right now, electric energy production is covering consumption. Prices are very high but that is a peculiarity of the energy market and how it is regulated where the last (marginal) produced unit of energy has a great influence on the price. Nuclear power plants aren't good at providing peak electric energy packets.

Germany wanted to phase out nuclear power by 2022 and coal power by 2038 only. Both, nuclear power plants and coal power plants should largely be written off and using both should provide similar economic sense. This may reflect that Germans do not care so much about CO2 compared to producing more nuclear waste or risking an nuclear accident in a power plant.

Indeed nuclear power polled badly in Germany over many years in the past. Only with increasing prices, Germans are changing their opinion a bit, but it's not clear if there would be a majority for it now and there isn't a majority within the government.

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The groups fighting against nuclear power plants in the 1970s were the core political movement from which the German Green party emerged. This is why the Greens cannot turn pro nuclear without ending their existence as a party. Even the currently proposed lifetime extension, very moderate in time and extent, is a perilous endeavor for Robert Habeck, the responsible Green minister, and may well explode the current government if the Green base balks — one of the political principles of the Greens is a more direct democracy, also in their own party, so there may be a party vote about contentious issues like this one.

Anything beyond this very limited life time extension of existing power plants is entirely unthinkable with the current government.

It is important to realize the increased political clout the Green party has gained in recent years. They are likely to be junior partners of middle-left and middle-right governments alike because the left and right fringe parties are unacceptable by the major parties as coalition partners.

Additionally, the two big parties are losing voters. Especially the traditional Social Democratic Party is becoming increasingly obsolete due to ongoing tectonic shifts in labor, and in society in general. The Greens are now an integral, important part of the moderate left in Germany; perhaps they are the moderate left's future, given how important ecological problems have become. They have much more power than they used to have even as recently as ten years ago.

Therefore the Greens will likely be in a position to block a nuclear renaissance in the foreseeable future.

And then there is, of course, the fact that what's left of nuclear power isn't that important any longer in the German energy mix. It may be important enough to let the plants run through the coming winter, a last hooray, and then good riddance.

Because, like you all do, I'm seeing a lot of Youtube videos featuring new, improved nuclear power plant designs which would solve our energy problems. It is all baloney. New plants take decades to build in Europe, only a crazyman would gamble the energy future of his country, his region or his world on unproven new designs, they are crazy expensive, and you are still dependent on imports. And that is before you even contemplate the probabilities of a core meltdown in the most populous regions of Europe and try to find a nice backyard for the waste, risking riots wherever you turn to.

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    Re "you are still dependent on imports from places like Kazakhstan and Namibia" Is this strictly true, or only true in a political sense? After all, between 1947 and 1990 (East-)Germany supplied much of the Soviet demand for uranium, so it is reasonable to assume that Germany could supply much of the fissile material for nuclear power plants itself, and that it is just politically inopportune to take up the mining of uranium ore in the country once again.
    – njuffa
    Sep 29, 2022 at 9:53
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    @Peter-ReinstateMonica If environmental regulations were significantly reduced there’s no law of physics stopping Germany from resuming the mining of uranium at a reasonable price per ton. It’s a self imposed constraint. Sep 29, 2022 at 14:14
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    @JonathanReez Why should Uranium mining be profitable in Germany when no other mining is? The only reason to keep it up would be strategic resource independence, which was the reason to keep coal mining alive for decades at a cost that would have made every miner a millionaire. I admit that doesn't sound as paranoid as it did 10 months ago, but it's still not profitable. And yes, of course you can turn Germany into an environmental shithole and kill or disable another 40,000 workers but only over my dead body. Sep 29, 2022 at 14:29
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    D/V: This is a VERY opinionated answer with no sources to support. Also, just because someone else doesn't have the same beliefs as you doesn't make them a "crazyman" and ALL forms of electricity generation are "crazy expensive" upon startup, or you truly have a different definitioin of crazy and expensive.
    – CGCampbell
    Sep 29, 2022 at 15:35
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    @CGCampbell "Crazy expensive" means about 4 times as expensive (at least twice as expensive, at most 9.5 times); see bundestag.de/resource/blob/887090/…, fig. 8, p. 28. Consider also that the price for most energy sources is essentially long-term flat because the technology is mature (except for market oscillations); but the price for the young renewables still continues to fall, with no end in sight. Sep 29, 2022 at 18:57
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I'm interested in German arguments based on nuclear engineering facts rather than emotions, if any such facts exist

You won't find any. The discussion about nuclear power plants is 100% emotional in Germany. Nukes have been deemed uncool and unsafe for decades now, and you cannot expect to change this opinion with facts, such as global mortality rate by TWh:

death rate from accidents and air pollution

Germany produced about 165TWh of electricity from lignite and coal in 2021, which will cause approximately 4000 deaths. This, incidentally, is also a plausible death count for the Chernobyl disaster.

As mentioned by other answers, it would take at least 10 or 15 years to build new nuclear power plants in Germany. The "nukes are unsafe" opinion would be a self-fulfilling prophecy: Germany has many excellent engineers, scientists and construction workers. But they would simply not be interested in working for the nuclear industry, and would rather design cars. Which, by the way, still kill 7 people every day, in Germany alone.

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    On a side note, and to hopefully avoid fruitless discussion: I'm not pro-nuclear. I'm simply more anti-coal than anti-nuclear. IMHO, we should first reduce our energy consumption by a lot. No planes, fewer cars, smaller cars, less meat, less air-conditioning, fewer useless gadgets, more regional and seasonal food. Once that happens, it becomes easier to cover our energy demand with renewables, as much as possible. What's left can then be covered by some fossil fuels and some nukes, with a percentage depending on many factors, but not emotional ones. Sep 30, 2022 at 8:16
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    I'm sure there's a question that's answered here, but not the question asked in the post.
    – gerrit
    Sep 30, 2022 at 12:12
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    Oh yes, fossil fuels are the worst. The mainstream political debate is about investing in nuclear or in renewables. Considering trends in costs for nuclear, renewables, and storage, I don't think nuclear plants built today will ever be economically competitive. It's true that € / kWh is an oversimplification; the real electricity market is complex. The engineering question is "is 100% renewable feasible when we include storage and an improved grid" (for Germany), but we are on the politics not the engineering stack exchange.
    – gerrit
    Sep 30, 2022 at 12:38
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    For more on the engineering side of things, see Traber, T.; Hegner, F.S.; Fell, H.-J. An Economically Viable 100% Renewable Energy System for All Energy Sectors of Germany in 2030. Energies 2021, 14, 5230. doi.org/10.3390/en14175230 .
    – gerrit
    Sep 30, 2022 at 12:44
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    Solar looks unbelievably safe. It's notorious for killing people who fall during installation. And since the production per roof is rather low, this does end up as a rather high fatality rate per TWh. Large-scale solar is much safer, though.
    – MSalters
    Oct 3, 2022 at 8:00
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There are two major aspects not yet listed: price, and duration. Germany cannot meet the legally binding requirement to stop emitting around ca. 2030 with nuclear power, and in any case nuclear power costs much more than renewables. Details below.

Nuclear is too expensive

Not only is nuclear power expensive: it is getting more expensive. Nuclear power is the only major source of electricity whose prices are increasing long-term (not considering market fluctuations for fossil-fuel based electricity). Already today, it is one of the most expensive sources of electricity:

graph with the price of electricity from new power plants
Source: Our World in Data. Further sources in the linked article, which is thoroughly researched with 45 footnotes.

Reasons for this are a multitude, but in general, renewables profit from economy of scale, because solar panels or batteries can be mass produced. Nuclear plants, in particular new ones, are highly complex and suffer from diseconomy of scale. After 70 years, nuclear power still relies on government subsidies, whereas subsidies for renewables are slowly being phased out because they're competitive on their own by now, despite fossil fuel subsidies still being in place. Perhaps nuclear power could become cheaper with deregulation, improved standardisation and a major effort to build many plants of the same type, but the data show no evidence for this happening.

Nuclear is too slow

Germany has signed the Paris Climate Agreement, where compliance with the 1.5 °C target requires an end to all greenhouse gas emissions by around 2030 (Traber et. al, 2021). This is 8 years away. Germany cannot build new nuclear power plants in 8 years. Therefore, new nuclear power plants cannot contribute to reaching net zero carbon in a legally required timescale.

Traber T, Hegner FS, Fell H-J. An Economically Viable 100% Renewable Energy System for All Energy Sectors of Germany in 2030. Energies. 2021; 14(17):5230. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175230

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The problem isn't the total electric power available, but network stability.

What the German grid lacks is supply that can react quickly to changes in demand, because there is no way to dump excess energy. The existing nuclear power plants are old and cannot be run efficiently in load-following mode -- trying to do so would at the same time decrease revenue for the operator and increase thermal stresses from frequent power changes.

Due to the way electrical energy is traded on the market, priority must be given to nuclear power while it is available. Wind and solar generators are required to have feedback mechanisms to disable them when there is oversupply in the network, which is still too slow as a frequency regulation mechanism, but a lot more flexible than nuclear plants.

So, while the nuclear plants are running, more gas is required to compensate for the lack of medium-term regulation on nuclear plants.

The existing plants are kept mostly as backup for the steel and aluminium industries. It is doubtful they will be needed, but the government is playing it safe here.

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    Can you add some links to backup your statements, ideally written by a nuclear engineer or someone else with corresponding credentials? Sep 29, 2022 at 14:10
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    I wonder how is France with their 70% nuclear power do the dump excess energy thing. Are their reactors running in load-following mode? Or are they also using gas for the balancing?
    – Trilarion
    Sep 29, 2022 at 15:54
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    @Trilarion, yes, France has been building reactors that can do load following more efficiently. It's not technically impossible, just needs to be part of the specification when building the plant in the first place (Germany's remaining plants are forty years old and were designed around the needs of the steel industry), and you need economic incentives, in the form of appropriate marketplace rules or subsidies, for operating in load following mode. France is also considering nationalizing its nuclear power generation as the operators are losing money. Sep 29, 2022 at 17:26
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    As JonathanReez points out, some supporting links would make this a much better Stack Exchange answer post. Otherwise, can readers know if you're just making this up or not?
    – uhoh
    Sep 29, 2022 at 23:24
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    @Trilarion posts which cite authoritative sources are a lot easier to check than those without, which is why it's generally understood that Stack Exchange answers should support their assertions by citing sources where they can be verified.
    – uhoh
    Sep 30, 2022 at 7:27
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As pointed out in the other answers, going for nuclear energy requires a long term commitment. On the long term, the main issue to deal with is climate change. For nuclear energy to be relevant to deal with climate change, it has to be used on a large scale. This requires the use of fast breeder reactors, or else we'll run out of U-235 within a century.

Europe and the the US have both stopped developing fast breeder reactors since the 1990s. It would take a long time to build up the infrastructure needed for fast breeder reactors. Only Russia is currently using a large fast breeder reactors for electricity generation. We can e.g. read here:

With energy prices spiking thanks to Russia’s war in Ukraine, and with the growing public cry to move toward sources of energy that don’t emit planet-warming greenhouse gases, nuclear power is getting another look. At the same time, innovators are looking at redesigning fast reactor technology to make it more cost-effective, Gehin said.

Currently, Russia is the only country producing electricity with fast reactor technology. India and China have plans to build out commercial fast reactors in the future. ............

Before nuclear waste can be used to power fast reactors, it has to go through reprocessing. Right now, only Russia has the capacity to do this at scale. France, too, has the capacity to recycle used nuclear waste, Gehin said, but the country generally takes its recycled fuel and puts it back into existing light water reactors.

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    And additionally this "fast breeder" technology would have to be totally safe and there needs to be a strategy for dealing with nuclear waste (how much ever there is and over how long ever it will be). Wind/solar/geothermal looks much more promising right now. I would actually like to see geothermal energy being developed much more.
    – Trilarion
    Sep 30, 2022 at 6:45
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    @Trilarion: The "fast breeder" reactors work by taking the nuclear waste, and separating the generated Plutonium for reuse. It's this Plutonium which makes the waste radioactive for ~40.000 years, so reusing it goes a long way. Also, this Plutonium comes from the non-fissile U-238, so that doesn't end up in the waste either. It's not perfect, you still have the fission products themselves, like Iodine. But those are much less of an issue.
    – MSalters
    Oct 3, 2022 at 8:06
  • @MSalters Sounds quite good. Question is if there are any other drawbacks or why this technology isn't that widely adopted.
    – Trilarion
    Oct 3, 2022 at 11:11
  • @Trilarion: The radioactive waste you're refining is obviously radioactive, so you want to use robots, not humans. But 1970's robot technology was rather primitive. By 2000, we had the robot capability, but by then we had stopped building nuclear plants. Also, the time scale involved is quite unfamiliar: we might be able to recycle the waste 50 to a 100 times, with 15 to 25 year cycles. That's a time scale which starts at 7 centuries. And finally, why recycle when new fuel is virtually free? In 1990, the West bought a lot of Plutonium from Russian nuclear arms stocks.
    – MSalters
    Oct 3, 2022 at 12:13
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Oil and gas industry earns lots of money and have been used some to manipulate the thinking of the society. After the long years of demonizing the nuclear energy there is still inertia in thinking. Wind turbines (they are apex predators!) and biofuels (they are the root cause of the world hunger!) also took they hit.

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    I would suggest that biofuels are not the root cause of world hunger as there are other things causing food prices to increase such as not using all the available land in an order to keep supply and prices at desired levels.
    – Joe W
    Sep 28, 2022 at 12:52
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    @JoeW OP was implying some other industries are demonizing nuclear energy, just as they demonize wind or biofuel energy. Which is subject to debate, but at least he doesn't imply biofuel is causing world hunger.
    – Kaël
    Sep 28, 2022 at 15:50
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    @JoeW "Root cause" is a debatable term but one thing is clear: Turning corn into fuel pits the car drivers against the corn eaters. American drivers pay pretty much any price for fuel because you cannot exist there without driving, and they have the money. You cannot exist without food either, but the corn eaters don't have enough money and are easily priced out by the car drivers. "There is no lack of food -- there is a lack of money to buy food." (Amartya Sen) Even a few percent less supply can cause large price increases when the demand is so inelastic. Sep 29, 2022 at 5:22
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    @JoeW The root causes for famines, as also Sen correctly analyzed, are poverty and bad governance, in particular armed conflicts as the worst case. Sep 29, 2022 at 5:24
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    I tried to show that all alternative energy sources were demonized. Plus global warming itself was denied. This must change now. Oil and gas are as bad as the rest if not worse,
    – Stančikas
    Sep 29, 2022 at 5:27

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