Energy production and economic potential have been intertwined for centuries. Is nuclear energy a failed experiment, or the future of European energy? Nuclear energy has been scrutinized heavily for decades, especially in light of incidents such as Chernobyl and Fukushima. Issues of safe operation, radioactive waste storage, and threats to human health plague this energy source. However, Central-Eastern Europe’s nuclear energy production has been increasing in terms of both production and investment, especially in the Visegrad Four states. The European Union’s stance on nuclear energy is not black and white. While Western European member countries like Germany and France are moving away from this energy source, Eastern member states are expanding their nuclear production and consumption. As the European Union sets strict guidelines for nuclear operations while promoting a renewable energy agenda, it allocates substantial funding to nuclear energy projects in Central-Eastern European member and non-member states, in the name of regionalizing approaches to energy production. What is causing increased nuclear energy production in Europe, and how can the European Union rectify renewable energy agendas with regionalized energy funding? How will nuclear energy continue to affect Central-Eastern Europe in global energy relations? This paper focuses on Hungary and Ukraine’s nuclear energy capabilities in particular, as they are both former communist states intending to modernize and build economic independence. Hungary and Ukraine’s nuclear energy will be compared in terms of economic capability, social support, and influence of the European Union and Russia.
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"Atomic Dreams: Exploring the Promise of Nuclear Energy in Central-Eastern Europe,"
Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union:
Vol. 2019, Article 10.
Available at: https://scholarship.claremont.edu/urceu/vol2019/iss1/10