NEWS

Nuclear power talk mushrooms

A more positive note was sounded yesterday on introducing nuclear energy into the country as officials argued that a larger number of Greece’s neighbors have shown interest in using the unpopular power source. National Council on Energy Strategy (SEES) head Rafael Moisis said that the time is coming to open talks on using this technology to power energy plants after 2020. Moisis’s comments come after Environment Minister Giorgos Souflias had suggested earlier this week that the European Union regards nuclear energy as «green energy, since it does not produce carbon dioxide or other pollutants.» New Democracy MP Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who presides over Parliament’s environmental protection committee, appears to adopt yesterday a more open stance to nuclear energy given that «Greece will be surrounded by nuclear power plants» in neighboring countries. Soaring oil costs worldwide are fueling interest in developing alternative forms of energy as analysts forecast that petrol prices will continue to move higher. «Forty years ago, we believed that the planet would fill up with nuclear power stations but we were wrong,» said Ian Facer, a senior member of staff at the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency. «I think, however, that at this point in time, nuclear power comes to offer cleaner and cheaper choices in the field of energy.» Meanwhile, Greenpeace Greece Director Nikos Haralambidis said that nuclear energy is expensive, despite claims to the contrary by plant manufacturers. «In the case of Finland, in reference to a 1,600 MW reactor, we have evidence that the cost of a nuclear power facility can easily reach $4,300 per kilowatt,» he said. «Recent estimates by Moody’s Investor Service place the cost of constructing a reactor between $5,000 to $6,000 per kilowatt.» The Technical Chamber of Greece and PASOK leader George Papandreou have both taken stances against nuclear power being brought to the country.