The future of nuclear power in Europe | Environment| All topics from climate change to conservation | DW | 25.04.2013
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Environment

The future of nuclear power in Europe

As Europe marks the 27th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, DW examines attitudes towards nuclear power across the bloc. Some EU nations are phasing nuclear out while others are eager to build new reactors.

In the early hours of April 26, 1986, engineers at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant were conducting a systems test at one of the reactors. There was a sudden power surge and then a series of explosions, which released radioactive particles into the atmosphere.

The radioactive cloud spread out over the Soviet Union. Particles were blown across Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and many other countries. It was the worst nuclear accident the world has ever seen.

Another accident, just two years ago at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, is perhaps fresher in European memory. It prompted Germany to commit to a complete phase out of nuclear power by 2022. But at the same time, Britain and Slovakia are investing in the consturction of new reactors.

In an energy hungry era, Europe is divided on nuclear power.

Remembering Chernobyl

Nuclear power in Europe

Germany's nuclear phase-out

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