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One of the most grotesque outcomes of anti-nuclear crusading in recent years was the insistence by European bureaucrats that Eastern European countries close down their reactors before gaining admission to the European Union.
Lithuania was forced to give up its 1,300-MW Ignalina reactor that satisfied 70 percent of its electrical demand.  Bulgaria was also required to close its four Kozloduy reactors, which supplied 34 percent of its electricity and played a crucial role in the national economy. The result was these former Soviet colonies found themselves even more firmly tethered to Russia for natural gas. 
The rationale given for these closings was that the Soviet-built reactors had similarities to Chernobyl, which had produced the world‚s biggest nuclear disaster in 1986.  But Chernobyl‚s major flaw was that it had no containment structure, while both the Lithuanian and Bulgarian reactors did.  The much more likely cause was the anti-nuclear sentiment of European bureaucrats.  (It was around the same time that European enforcers of the Kyoto Protocol were ruling that countries could not meet their carbon-reduction requirements by building nuclear reactors.) 
Now Eastern Europe is once again asserting its independence by embracing nuclear power.  Poland, the Baltic States, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria are all planning new construction as a way of freeing themselves from Russian dependence.   In doing so they may set an example for countries everywhere who do not want to have their fortunes determined by the world's random and unequal distribution of fossil fuels.

Read more at Bloomberg

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