Nuclear power supplies some 20 percent of the
country's electricity, but most of the stations are to be closed within
a decade due to old age, and the youngest one -- Sizewell B -- is due to
close in 2035.
Nuclear power proponents say it is a clean power source that, in contrast to fossil fuels, does not emit climate warming carbon dioxide. They also say its fuel can be easily stockpiled and does not leave countries at the mercy of oil and gas exporting nations such as Russia.
Following are some facts about nuclear power:
* Nuclear power supplies 16% of the world's electricity and 34% of the European Union's.
* 15 of the EU's 27 members have nuclear power plants, with the percentage of electricity supplied ranging from 78% in France (but only 17% of the total energy...) to just 3.5% in the Netherlands.
* Attitudes vary across the bloc. France has committed to renewing its reactor fleet, Finland is building a new plant, Germany and Sweden have committed to phasing out nuclear power and the Dutch have reversed a previous decision to phase it out.
* Italy used to have four nuclear power reactors, but it shut down the last two following the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986. Consideration is being given to nuclear new build.
* Nuclear power accounts for 20% of electricity in the United States, and the government is actively promoting new nuclear plants through tax breaks.
* Boom economy China gets just 1.9% of its electricity from 11 nuclear reactors, but four more are under construction, 23 are in the planning stages and there are proposals for another 54.
* Worldwide there are 437 working reactors, with another 30 under construction, 74 planned and 162 proposed.
Statistics from the World Nuclear Association.