Dutch choose cleaner coal over nuclear power

Rather than expanding its nuclear energy industry, the Netherlands will focus on developing cleaner coal plants and raising renewable-energy output to cut carbon emissions, says its environment minister.

"Some aspects of nuclear energy are positive, such as the carbon dioxide level." environment minister Jacqueline Cramer told Reuters on Wednesday. "But the disadvantages are also enormous, such as the waste problem and the safety conditions."

The country is focussing on developing carbon capture and storage (CCS) techniques to build cleaner coal plants, along with increasing its production from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass.

Cramer said the Netherlands was looking at options to store carbon dioxide emissions in empty gas fields and below the sea, and hoped the Dutch would eventually be able to export the technology. "We have chosen to develop a technology which could apply in other countries where they will be using coal for decades, such as China," she said.

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