Development of Nuclear Energy and Our Challenges
The European Union has set a course towards achieving climate-neutrality by 2050. In 2022, nuclear energy was the dominant type of power generation in Europe. What have been the developments in nuclear energy in the world and what are we doing in Estonia? What are the fears regarding nuclear energy and what are the major advantages of this type of energy?
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) exercises global supervision over the use and development of nuclear energy in order to support the benefits of nuclear energy to humanity as well as to manage its risks smartly. IAEA has adopted safety principles and standards which all countries and parties must follow and that is what we are doing in Estonia as well.
Low CO2 emissions are the main reason why countries with existing nuclear po-wer stations are making investments in order to keep using these stations for decades to come. This is also the main reason why many well-known environmental protection activists have begun to support nuclear energy, and in many countries public opinion is clearly supporting more extensive use of nuclear energy.
The greatest challenge for nuclear energy was, is and will be its complexity and exceptional nature for ordinary people. For Estonia as a Nordic country, nuclear energy is important in order to ensure that the 1000 MW in generation capacity required by the transmission system operator is without carbon emissions and at a stable price, and to offer serious alternative employment in the energy sector in Viru County when the oil shale industry fades.