Ten European Union Member States have addressed the European Commission to include nuclear power among low-carbon, sustainable energy sources in the taxonomy of the common classification system, a technical guidebook for governments and investors which helps them to identify projects that comply with the climate goals of Paris Agreement.
The declaration on the nuclear alliance, coordinated by France unites nuclear-oriented signatories from the EU, including Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania.
According to the joint letter of the alliance, “if Europe is to win the climate war, it needs nuclear energy. It is a vital and reliable resource for all to secure a low-carbon future”.
Karel Havlíček, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic argued that Brussel’s recognition of nuclear energy and gas as sustainable “will pave the way for a cheaper financing and construction of new nuclear resources.”
The request of the signatory States emerged in light of Europe’s energy crisis which has exposed Europe to record-high natural gas and electricity prices. These circumstances have added urgency to their appeal.
Mr Havlíček pointed out that in the current crisis nuclear can protect consumers from price volatility.
“Nuclear is an affordable source of the carbon-free electricity that can provide a large volume of competitive electricity without increasing our dependence on energy supplies from third countries,” he added.
Another top official of the Czech Republic, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade for Energy, René Neděla stressed that while renewable energy sources are key for energy transition for the EU, they “cannot produce a sufficient amount of the low-carbon electricity to cover neither the Czech Republic’s nor the European needs.”
On the other hand, emphasising the risks of radioactive waste, Roger Spautz, nuclear campaigner at Greenpeace France and Luxembourg underlined that “giving dangerous nuclear energy a green label in the EU taxonomy will make the waste problem worse, and actively divert investments away from real solutions like energy savings, energy storage and renewables.”
At present, there are 13 reactors operating in 27 Member States of the European Union. They generate around 26 per cent of the Union’s electricity and represent a subject of disagreement between anti-nuclear Member States who advocate nuclear phase-out and those who count on nuclear power in their national energy mix.