France Nuclear Energy France produces the second most amount of nuclear energy in the world as they produced 384 billion kilowatthours in 2016. However, the difference between the United States and France is that 72.3% of their energy produced in 2016 was from nuclear energy. This would make France the country that relied on nuclear energy the most in the world.
Out of the top ten countries that produced the most nuclear energy in 2016, France was responsible for 18% of the energy produced. In France, there are 58 nuclear reactors with 40 being pressurised water reactors and 18 being boiling water reactors. However, France’s reactors are slowly becoming older as “15 of France’s 58 reactors are over 35″9 with the average reactor currently over 30 years old. With the expected lifespan of a nuclear reactor in France being about 40 years old, France could see up to 17 nuclear power plants close by 2025. This would greatly impact their use of nuclear energy in their country as the 72.3% produced nuclear energy would go down to about 50%. Though, many people are arguing if France should continue their dependence on nuclear power as their primary source of energy as despite nuclear energy being good for the environment, they cost a big amount of money and are dangerous. However, France is still postponing their target of decreasing the amount of nuclear energy they produce as Clercq and Rose state, “grid operator RTE warned it risked supply shortages after 2020 and could miss a goal to curb carbon emissions”12.
According to French junior environment minister Brune Poirson, she wants to reduce the share of nuclear power as soon as they can. Although Poirson did not plan a date, she still wants her plan to be as “realistic as possible”12. Also, a member of France’s parliament Matthieu Orphelin, said that he everybody knew that they could not reach the 50% target by 2025 set by the previous government. Instead, he predicted that France would reach the target between 2025 and 2030. Orphelin continued to say that “France must irreversibly get on a path to use energy more efficiently, to use more renewable energy and thus mechanically reduce its reliance on nuclear energy”12. However, nuclear energy will have a big effect on France’s economy and also, France will then rely on non-renewable sources such as natural gas and coal. In conclusion, France leads second in the world for the most nuclear energy produced and nuclear power produces almost 75% of France’s energy. However, France is planning on shutting down up to 17 nuclear power plants as well as reducing the amount of nuclear energy they create.
Nuclear Power in RussiaAmongst the many nations that utilize nuclear energy, one excels at it. This nation is the famous country of Russia. Russia is a world leader in the usage of nuclear power, as they are the first nation on Earth to use a nuclear power plant for the purpose of generating electricity with staggering statistics to prove claim. Amongst this proof, is the fact that approximately 18% of Russia’s electricity production utilizes a nuclear source.
Prior to the usage of this source, Russia was one of the world leaders in emitting carbon dioxide into our atmosphere due to the people’s high energy consumption. When nuclear power plants for the purpose of electricity generation were introduced, the emission rates dropped drastically, but did not affect the lives of the Russian people too greatly as they could still consume the same amount of power. Shortly after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Russia faced economic problems with forced them to cut their budget in the nuclear program.
This caused the carbon emissions in Russia to return to the high rate it was at before. The program was soon restored and the Russian people found that their carbon emission had dropped over 22% to 466 million tons per year.Russia also has many nuclear power plants, in the mid-1980s when other nations were pioneering the nuclear energy generation method within their homeland, Russia already possessed approximately 25 of them. However a reform was put in place after the Chernobyl accident with exposed the nearby area of a power plant to be exposed to extremely high levels of radiation. This reform that the government put into ensured safety to the Russian people who were concerned about the accident. After this moment, Russia commenced consuming high amounts of uranium, totaling to approximately 3800 tons of it consumed per year.
Russia is also contributing to combating global warming by providing other nations such as Iran, India, Hungary and Nigeria with nuclear power capabilities. They hope to drastically reduce the effect humans are having on global warming by building 11 new power plants in these foreign nations. They are cooperating with America for this cause, putting aside their differences through the Iran nuclear deal, promising to lower Iran’s yearly carbon emission through nuclear power plants. This proves that Russia is putting forward its best attempts to combat global warming.