The European Court of Auditors today published a special report (1) on the use of EU funds for decommissioning nuclear reactors in Lithuania, Slovakia and Bulgaria. The report concluded that the funding to date (including €2.85 billion in EU funds) was far short of what is necessary to safely and effectively decommission the plants and that a funding shortage of €2.5 billion remains. Commenting on these findings, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms, who was the EP draftsperson on EU aid for decommissioning Bulgarian reactors, said:
"This report underlines the enormous hidden costs of nuclear energy - such as for decommissioning reactors or dealing with nuclear waste. These hidden costs are always covered up by the proponents of nuclear, with the public left to foot the bill. It is high time that there was transparency about the full cost of nuclear power.
"It is naturally of vital importance that all nuclear reactors are properly and safely decommissioned and that sufficient resources are available to this end, which is not the case in many nuclear countries. It is also right that the EU supports the decommissioning of the most dangerous reactors in its member states, which were tasked with decommissioning as part of their EU membership. However, it is crucial that all EU funds are used in the most effective way.
"The Greens have long criticised the diversion of earmarked EU funds for other energy projects. These funds should only be used for safely decommissioning nuclear reactors, with a view to ensuring the safety of all EU citizens."