(Bloomberg Opinion) — Until 2011, Paul Bossens was an entrepreneur quietly running a small IT business in Leuven, not far from the Belgian capital of Brussels.
Aside from an interest in the environment — he’s an enthusiast for electric cars who delights in his shiny gull-wing Tesla Model X — Bossens, 68, wouldn’t have called himself politically committed. “I was never really one to be an activist or a protester,” he says.
“I was too busy running my firm.” Then one day, in a casual conversation with a colleague, he found himself talking about nuclear power. Belgium had passed a law in 2003 ordaining nuclear’s phaseout by 2025, and the first reactor shutdowns were expected in 2015. People were just beginning to ponder the consequences:
Belgium depends on its atomic reactors for almost half its electricity, and the first wave of closures alone would have shuttered nearly 15% of the country’s output. “I thought nuclear power must be dangerous, so we needed to find another way to generate electricity and get on with replacing it,” recalls Bossens. “And he said: ‘No, nuclear power has hardly ever killed anyone.’”
For the rest of this column: https://www.bloombergquint.com/gadfly/abandoning-nuclear-power-would-be-europe-s-biggest-climate-mistake