The Washington Post recently published an article, “Is nuclear energy green? France and Germany lead opposing camps.” where they discuss the different approaches by the two nations to nuclear power. There’s renewed attention on the issue as France re-embraces nuclear power in response to the European energy crisis.
The article notes that Germany’s opposition to nuclear power is largely based on safety concerns. But nuclear power has proven to be incredibly safe and is a reliable, cheap source of carbon-free power.
Most striking is the difference in carbon emissions between the two countries:
Germany emits about twice as much carbon dioxide per capita as France does. When it phases out its last nuclear power plants next year, it will be forced to rely on coal and other polluting energy sources to fill much of the gap for years — which helps explain why the country continues to raze villages to make way for coal mines.
A chart from the article provides a striking comparison between the two countries:
Being anti-nuclear power is an inconsistent stance for anyone working to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. Nuclear power is a proven source of energy that will help us reduce carbon emissions and must be a large part of any clean energy plans both in the U.S. and abroad.