In France, over 90% of electricity is generated from nuclear power. In France’s total energy mix, nuclear power supports 3/4ths of their total energy usage:
In light of the Fukushima nuclear accident in March of 2011, the social image of nuclear power is changing. France has taken much pride historically in being at the forefront of nuclear power and research, but now nuclear energy has become a topic of debate for France’s upcoming presidential election. The United States political system went through this process, and the social paranoia associated with nuclear accidents decades ago. The effect has only been detrimental in developing new technology for nuclear power programs. The accident has caused a lot of uproar, and recently a popular Japanese news source, JiJi Press, reported that radiation has increased by 20% from the accident:
In the following article the large-scale policy implications of Fukushima in Europe and Asia are evident. Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party candidate could unseat the incumbent president over this issue:
In my opinion nuclear development and technology, if implemented correctly, can be very successful in generating required amounts of power for electricity-hungry populations. It was an engineering error to place a large nuclear complex in such a seismically-vulnerable area as the Ring of Fire. France is much less prone to natural disasters which can cause the accident that occurred in Fukushima, but the technology can be dangerous if mismanaged (Chernobyl). Social pressure should not drive technological decisions such as this in policy-making, yet it has largely in the past and looks to guide it heavily in upcoming years.