Nuclear power options are currently being re-evaluated in many Member States. These re-evaluations indicate there have been changes in the political and social climate with regard to nuclear power. This is particularly the case in the most industrialized countries and countries with the highest population growth pressure. In these countries, there is a growing recognition that nuclear power cannot be ignored as a component of a sustainable energy mix in support of the development for the well-being of their society and protection of the most valued asset mankind has — the environment.

At present, growing concerns about greenhouse gases as a threat to our entire planet, show and made countries recognize the advantages of nuclear power over other sources of power generation. Evidently, as all other components of an energy mix, nuclear power also has its own disadvantages. Since nuclear power was introduced several decades ago, there is a clear and comprehensive view of the disadvantages.

From a political and societal perspective, the most frequently quoted disadvantages of nuclear power are:

• the weak economic competitiveness of nuclear power;

• safety of the installations;

• the risks associated with proliferation and security of the materials, and last but not least;

• the non-resolution of the disposition issue of spent fuel and high level radioactive waste.

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