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Climate Challenges for European Critical Infrastructure Protection: Nuclear Power and Water Supply

Kristin Linnerud, Dirk Theodor Georg Rübbelke, Stefan Vögele

During the heat waves in 2003 and 2006 nuclear power plants in several European countries had to reduce or shut down production due to reduced access to cooling water, regulation on maximum temperature of the return water and other limitations in the cooling system. Such nuclear power supply disruptions may have a significant impact on the energy supply security in Europe as nuclear power accounts for 28% of total power supply, each nuclear reactor accounts for a considerable amount of power and nuclear reactors are typically located in the same geographical area with access to the same source of cooling water. One way of addressing this risk of energy supply disruptions is through the application of supranational legislation and action plans, like what is being developed in the European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP) and the corresponding legislation. In the 2005 Green Paper on the EPCIP, the need to help reducing threats directed towards critical infrastructures like for example energy and water supply was acknowledged. Such threats may come from terrorism, natural disasters and accidents. In this paper we build a case for including climate-induced disruptions of electricity supply in the EPCIP and suggest how EPCIP should be amended to better cope with such threats.

More details

  • Year: 2010
  • Journal: IAEE International Conference
  • Language: English
  • Volume: 36
  • Issn: 1559-792X
  • Publisher: International Association for Energy Economics