Nuclear Energy in the Enlarged European
EPRG Working Paper 0904
In January 2006 and again in January 2009 gas supplies to central and eastern
member states of the European Union were disrupted as a consequence of dispute
between Russia and Ukraine. Interrrupted heating in European cities on cold winter
nights adds a new dimension to concerns for Europe's energy security. As citizens in
these countries shift to electric heating, the electricity system comes under pressure.
Policy makers are looking for ways to provide secure electricity generation free of
geopolitical difficulties and using technologies which help maintain the European
momentum to lower greenhouse gas emissions. It comes as no surprise therefore
that there is much renewed interest in central and eastern Europe for nuclear power.
This working paper notes that with the addition of 12 new member states in central
and eastern Europe the balance of EU member state opinion has shifted significantly
in favour of nuclear power. Furthermore several of these central and eastern EU
countries have prior experience with nuclear power and hence the proportion of EU
member states familiar with with nuclear energy has also increased markedly in