The lights don’t go out in Germany and France until you switch them off. And that’s most of what they have in common. Three-quarters of the electricity in France is nuclear; in Germany it’s a quarter. France is adding to its nuclear capacity, Germany is committed to phasing out nuclear power altogether. The switch to and from nuclear in the two countries is at the heart of an increasingly contentious debate on the best source of electricity. Post-nsg exemption, it’s a debate India should follow closely.
Those saying no to nuclear for a while are beginning to think again; they’ve had to. There are 435 commercial nuclear reactors worldwide, and another 100 are on their way. Most of these are inevitably in the developed world. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) wants 1,300 new reactors to come up worldwide to help meet the current demand for power. Even this increase, experts in Europe say, will not be enough.