While our partners are based throughout Europe, France and Sweden are perhaps the two most important countries within the European nuclear industry.
Due to their policy on energy security, the French derive over 75% of their electricity from nuclear energy. And because of this low cost power generation, France is the world’s largest net exporter of electricity. Sweden has ten nuclear power reactors providing half of its electricity. It has looked at nuclear energy in conjunction with renewable energy in great detail over the last decade. Although providing over 40% of its energy, nuclear power has been in and out of favour there in a similar way to the UK.
Current challenges, such as decommissioning and renewing the current nuclear estate, are being investigated throughout Europe. Several major reactor upgrades are planned and politicians have explored options ranging from nuclear phase-out to new reactors being built after 2010.
As the debate continues as to how we will generate energy in the next century, these two countries provide an insight into the role that nuclear might play. They’re also excellent places in which to gain valuable experience across a variety of areas, from decommissioning to commercial revenue.