FORATOM | Nuclear: a secure, reliable and competitive source of energy
Security of energy supply is enhanced by having a diverse energy mix. All things being equal, the more diversified the energy mix, the less vulnerable Member States and the EU are to shocks affecting external energy sources.
Nuclear energy generates electricity in 14 of the 28 Member States, producing almost 30% of the EU’s electricity. Hence it contributes significantly to reducing dependence upon imported fossil fuels. Since reactors operate at high capacity levels – typically between 85 and 90 % – nuclear is a reliable source of base-load electricity. Nuclear fuel resources are available from a variety of countries, the majority of which are politically stable. The European commercial mining, enrichment, fuel fabrication and recycling industry stands at the very top of the list of world producers. In addition, the cost of uranium is marginal in the total cost of the electricity produced by a nuclear reactor. As the quantity of uranium necessary to produce a given amount of electricity is extremely low compared to other sources of energy, nuclear operators are able to store sufficient uranium fuel assemblies on-site for years of operation. As a mature technology, nuclear is well positioned to strengthen Europe’s energy security.