Presenting The Countries Most Exposed To A Nuclear Backlash

Tyler Durden's picture

Following the nuclear power plant explosions in Japan over the weekend, the next step once the world gets over its shock, will almost certainly be a worldwide adverse response against any future nuclear developments (explaining the action in shares of Exelon and Areva). It will likely also see countries that have a substantial exposure to nuclear power plants be pressured to migrate to other sources of energy. Below we present a list of the 30 countries that have the largest exposure to nuclear power generation. At the top are Lithuania, France, Slovakia Belgium and Ukraine, all of whom see at least 50% of their energy needs satisfied by nuclear sources. The US is further back, at 20.2% as of 2009 (equivalent to an energy output of roughly 800 TWh). German is at 26.1% while the UK is at 17.9%. It is possible that many of the countries listed below could see social unrest based on concerns of developments comparable to those in Japan, with the respective governments promptly forced to do the old song and dance how nuclear power is the safest available... until the black swan event occurs and it isn't.

PS: we have been advised that the Lithuanian power plant has shut down in the period since the last update by the WNA, which means that the French are on top.

Source: World Nuclear Association


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sushi's picture

The announcement that the Japanese evacuation zone has been increased to 3,000 km will be an eye opener.

BigJim's picture


Can anyone explain to me why natgas price has barely budged? I'm really tempted to back up the truck.

himbot's picture

NYMEX won't see any increased demand, and LNG cargoes are still better off going elsewhere. No effect. However, builders of gas-fired power seem like a good play.

jus_lite_reading's picture

Tokyo geiger counter shows radiation levels are increasing!

And it's now being reported that the German gov't is pulling out reporters and staff from Japan. What do they know?

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Can you sell irrationality ? - yes you can.

Mercury's picture

At this point, I don't see that Europe (for instance) has much of a choice.  What are they going to go hog wild for wind and solar now?...back to dirty coal?   Give me a break. 

jus_lite_reading's picture

WOW! The EU is reviewing shutdowns of nuke facilities... are they preparing for something as well? Japan never thought they would see an 8.9. What if a 9.5 struck the EU?

4xaddict's picture

Japan also sits on a tectonic 3-way which the EU isn't invited to.

This will create a V-shaped opportunity to long Nuke power and uranium stocks imho - BP style.

Real Estate Geek's picture

Caused by what?  The Old Madrid fault?

Grifter's picture

I love random ZH chuckles as I slave away at my desk.  My thanks to you, good sir/madam, for providing the first one for this day.


Back on thread, however...been reading up on the Thorium alternative that some of you fine ZH'ers have mentioned...seems very promising, hope these recent events don't kill whatever minor efforts are going into LFTR research...

jmc8888's picture

Also with anything, especially nuclear power, it has to be done right.  They could build them better, but that would take more money, and of course, all the rules here in america make them needlessly expensive (not through saftey regs), which also means they'd tend to cut corners to shave off costs.  That has to change.  Insurance and amitorization, are the main issues.  Solve that, and it IS easily solved...Gov't insures for catastrophe (as if it doesn't indirectly anyways), and a mere change in the rate of amitorization (a simple law).

Also as many have stated, many of the japanese plants having trouble are either a) are of older and less safe designs, B) some have known faults, C) built near faults and the sea which is about the worst thing that can happen [who thought this was a good idea]? What dumbasses.

The future of Nuclear power is much safer, however if put ANYTHING right on/near a faultline, how could it be safe? Daycare or Nuclear power.  The structure can't be expected to survive, especially when place next to an ocean.  People have to understand the limits of things.  It is pure hubris to put a nuclear plant next to a sea, which is next to a major faultline. One thing is for damn sure. If something can be seen coming, someone on the news will say, 'who could of seen it coming'.  Obviously not the journalists.

I just wish the engineers in Japan had all the info available, sadly I'm sure they do not.  Spheroids might not matter if you can't get water in, but still they should be aware of the 7-10x heat dissapation improvement as opposed to simply water or other coolant. It only takes a couple of days to design and implement it. (that is if the person isn't a dumbass)

Old design + known flaws + earthquake zone + tsunami = about the worst the nuclear industry could suffer from, and most of it, is unlikely to be repeated, if sane people are allowed to act.  Of course, we can only be sure by shutting down the plants with similar flaws, similar disaster locations, etc.  That has to be done, but not at the expense of not licensing much safer ones, in safer areas.  We can't be scared, but must be prudent.  Sadly, like everything else, if we don't wisen up quickly, we'll make the idiot decision, like we have pretty much exclusively my entire life (and I've noticed the whole fucking time).

But building them in safer areas, with much better tech, different fuels, etc is a completely different beast.  Too bad the mainstream media will paint all nuclear reactors as bascially the same (or harp on it for an hour with perhaps two seconds every other day that one person might say one short thing about old, flaws, rare earthquake, rarer about black swan).  Again, if most people just realized that nuclear power plants were glorified steam power plants, it would be much easier to understand that the key is being able to properly separate and cool the materials.  Older reactors, didn't do a very good job of it design wise.  Newer designs are much better and safer, and no doubt will find improvements based on this disaster unfolding before us. 

We have to be real about this, WWIII over oil would equivocate to how many nuclear plants going haywire?  (wind/solar is a junk boondoggle waste), and no one wants to fund fusion.  (and if the bahrain-ians have anything to say about it, we may find out that question soon if half of saudi's oil is taken offline)

There's no graphite in these Japan nuclear reactors [the ones mentioned](what made chernoybl so bad), so hopefully the MOX or whatever that was listed yesterday, doesn't act in graphite's stead.  But who knows, we'll find out, I'm sure of it.  Why did they need this? Who decided to make things potentially far worse? For what benefit? more electricity generated? how much? 2 percent? for 1000x risk?

Of course, through all of this, a manhattan style fusion program must be undertaken, so that by the end of the life cycle of today's generation's of plants are scheduled to come offline in a few decades, we'll actually have something to replace it.

Gas isn't our future, wind/solar isn't....only nuclear until fusion.  If we fuck ourselves out of nuclear (because of idiocy), and won't do fusion, we fuck ourselves out of any chance to be #winners. Which would be a charlie sheen shame.


dearth vader's picture

A 9.5 in the EU?

That's not Richter, but alcohol per mille.

bmusic's picture

Neither does Japan.  They will replace nuclear with nuclear, it will be generations newer than these old plant and much, much safer.

Tense INDIAN's picture

i just wonder with those kind of Hydrogen Explosions , whos standing there to take stock of the situation

Spartan's picture

Switzerland has already today suspended license applications for new nuclear power plants.


Power, Gas and Carbon prices across Europe going parabolic.

lizzy36's picture


Of course the wise Obama has already made his bets on "battery" (read gm and ge).

Talk about being on the wrong side of the trade AGAIN.

What was that "change you can believe in" and "winning the future"....WTF?

Crummy's picture

I think US involvement in Afghanistan and it's continuing pressure on Pakistan over the IPI pipeline from Iran make it pretty clear about where the US is placing its long bets.

John McCloy's picture

  Someone was telling my yesterday shorting Shaw would be dangergous..anyway it just gapped down 20% crikey.

morph's picture

A stupid knee jerk reaction. When was the last time you saw an earthquake of magnitude in France?


Mad Max's picture

When was the last time that major decisions on national energy policy were made rationally and for the good of the general public?

docj's picture

3-words: Three Mile Island.

That one had it all - panic, irrationality, totally blown-out-of-proportions response, knee-jerk national policy decisions, screwed the general public.

Real Estate Geek's picture

And don't forget the exquisitely-timed release of The China Syndrome, only two weeks before TMI.

docj's picture

Indeed! Proof-positive that God has a wonderful, and sometimes nasty, sense of humor.

G-R-U-N-T's picture

Indeed! Unreasonable actions could come out of this big time!

cossack55's picture

1789-1815, 1870, 1914-18, 1940-45, and when Johnnie Depp moved to Paris. 

Spartan's picture

Thats not the point...the fact is that politically support was on a knife edge before this crisis, in Switzerland there is no chance that in local referendums locals would approve a Nuclear Plant now, you won't be able to "buy" them off now. With plants due to go off line from 2019 the government will need to look at alternatives (i.e. Gas) changes everything.


"Switzerland is considered at a low to moderate risk of earthquakes. Experts believe an earthquake of magnitude 6 could be expected around once a century and a destructive powerful quake of magnitude 7 only once every 1,000 years." - So its a risk to consider.

jus_lite_reading's picture

There was a 3.9 today in Portugaul? And a smaller one around 2.2 in Spain? Not confirmed, just heard it from a friend on the phone. Exceptionally rare supposedly.

Oh regional Indian's picture

isn't that interesting Juslite.

On another thread a few hours ago, I said they must shut down (everywhere) and has the usual band of folks coem out and call me a fool.

As for Europe and earthquakes, try this, from January 5th this year, suddenly looking a little, shall we say, pre-scient.

Nothing is safe anymore. Uncertain world meets population used to a degree of certainity.



velobabe's picture

ORI, how many names do you have? i have one more for you. the pre dict or. you are very calm in nature to have instincts such as you have. i am not a predictor, just a watc her.

Ident 7777 economy's picture

On another thread a few hours ago, I said they must shut down (everywhere) and has the usual band of folks coem out and call me a fool.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Well, yes.


Luddite might work too.



Flakmeister's picture

Lisbon has been whacked in the past:

A mega-thrust of similar magnitude to Sendai....

Thunder Dome's picture

Just picked up more CCJ at 29.05.

Flakmeister's picture

Good move, my hands are strong and I have nibbled on some more. The fundamental underlying demand for U has not changed.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

this will kill the electric car,.,.the newest large user of electric power grid, which cannot use coal, oil, nat gas or nuke stations to fill the need for more power.

seems like buggy whips and buggy makers are going into a boom..ride em cowboys.

cossack55's picture

Where the hell is the air car.  Been waiting for India to start shipping. My $4,000.00 is burning a hole in my "buy guns" pocket.

falak pema's picture

they say electric cars will run on perma electromagnetic fields devices. Some interesting videos of "free magnetic energy" on the NET. As for wind keep your eyes open for Kitegen project from Italy. Protype on the make.

Ident 7777 economy's picture

" free magnetic energy "

- - - - - - - - -

Uh-huh ...

falak pema's picture

well bill gates seems to believe in it.

Flakmeister's picture

Check out Gates exposure to ethanol....he was a big investorin PEIX, IIRC

Sudden Debt's picture

A little bit of radiation never hurt anybody.


I might even say IT'S GOOD FOR YOU!!






Blankman's picture

and your hair away, and your toenails away, and your skin away, and your teeth away, and ....

Billy Shears's picture

Peak Oil, Bitchez!

Nuclear power is on the rise, not the decline. Don't be confused...exponential consumption of natural resources like coal, oil and other hydrocarbons means there is only another generation (at best) left of supply (@ 7% growth). Base load requirements, necessitate, a substitute such as atom power; without it the modern world as we know it would come to a grinding halt. So, don your radiation suit and grab your Gieger counters we are just getting started and no tsunami induced, nuclear catastrophe, however tragic and unfortunate is going to change the facts on/under the ground.

Oso's picture

this is so stupid.  number 1 is 40 yrs old and was supposed to be decommissioned in February.  Reactors today are designed completely differently.  AND, most are not located in seismically active areas.

BorisTheBlade's picture

It's already been closed down. From the top of this list, Lithuania went directly to the bottom:

In line with the Lithuanian authorities' commitment towards the EU, on 31 December 2009 the second and last operating block of the Ignalina power plant was closed down. Overnight Lithuania turned from an exporter to an importer of electric energy. Ignalina's decommissioning did not trigger shortages of energy. It did, however, cause an increase in energy prices.

william the bastard's picture

The top 10 aren't exactly "ring of fire" locations if you excuse World War II.

Josephine29's picture

I think you are wise to raise this issue Tyler and I am sure there will be ever more voices worried about the actual safety of nuclear power. As notayesmanseconomics put it today.

Those who remember the recent discussion on here on this subject which put more formally I was taught as the “serially uncorrelated error term” will have food for thought this morning. Reactors built in the 1970s are being affected by what we are told is a one in a thousand year event. However in practice this event took less than 40 years! If the reactors had lasted a thousand years how many such events would occur?

Oh regional Indian's picture

It's not really a backlash. It's a blow-out. Of epic proportions. trust Nuclear power?

How many people here know that all that clean nuclear power was at the expense of tons of spent fuel, in think skinned vessels, was beign dumped off the coast of Somalia?

That is the cheapness and cleanliness of it.

Madness. Power-madness. At such terrible cost (like the current Japanese situation), yet the lesson will go unlearned. Because we are all power junkies.

india is all agog with Westinghouse and GE pitching new, efficient, clean nuclear power!


Boiling Frogs's picture

Relaaax. At least some of that tonnage was diverted elsewhere in the form depleted uranium. Instead of dumping all of it off the coast of Africa, this portion of spent fuel is being spread all over Central Asia with each incendiary, armor piercing projectile we use. Ironically, whilst contaminating the ME with DU, the MIC is simultaneously sterilizing the warrior class while they're still in their reproductive prime.

Josh Randall's picture

The "New" Tokyo Rose/Baghdad Bob misinformation campaign is stunning already. I would take that chart and amp it up by 100x's