With wind power filling the energy gap left by shutdown nuclear reactors in the UK, and police investigating allegations of sabotage at a reactor in Belgium, the myth of "reliable" nuclear energy is being exposed like never before.
Action at Tihange Nuclear Power Plant in BelgiumGreenpeace activists protest with "nuclear" barrels bearing the text "The End" against the aging Tihange nuclear power plant in Belgium.03/05/2014 © Philip Reynaers / Greenpeace
The nuclear industry tells us that nuclear power is a reliable energy source, that it offers "energy security". Tell that to Belgium and the UK who are seeing significant parts of their nuclear fleet shutdown.
(Worryingly, there are 22 other reactors around the world that share the same design as Tihange 2 and Doel 3.)
There have previously been issues with nuclear power plants being closed in EU and USA at times of drought because of water shortages.
What fills the energy gap while these "reliable" nuclear reactors are shut down?
Belgium is having to rely on electricity from its neighbours. So much for nuclear power giving the country energy security.
In the UK, things are much more optimistic. Renewable energy has come to the rescue. "Demand is low at this time of year, and a lot of wind power is being generated right now," said the UK's National Grid. Electricity supplies have been unaffected.