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Nuclear industry

Leaked EU Commission paper foresees major expansion of nuclear power


A draft paper from the EU's Sustainable Energy Technology Plan, which is being steered by the European Commission, was leaked today in the German media. The paper argues for the expansion of nuclear power and builds on an analysis on the future of nuclear power in Europe (the Community Nuclear Illustrative Programme - PINC) by the Commission last month (1). Commenting on the paper, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms stated:

"This paper again highlights the EU Commission's tendency to dress up the figures on nuclear power. The supporters of nuclear power want to do all within their means to secure massive financial support to keep the industry alive, despite the fact it is not able to stand on its own two feet. EU competition law and state aid rules should be set aside for nuclear power.

"Following early proposals to extend the lifetime of nuclear power for up to 60 years, this paper from the depths of the Commission's research directorate is proposing the crazy idea of promoting decentralised mini-nuclear reactors. EU nuclear proponents have already backed one wrong horse in pushing for European Pressurised Reactors since Chernobyl. The cost explosions in the foreseen and underway projects in Olkiluoto, Flamanville and now Hinkley Point have underlined that EPR is unviable and have driven the French nuclear firm Areva to ruin.

"The European Commission needs to finally give up on this failed and risky technology and instead put innovation and sustainability at the heart of the nascent European Energy Union. Majorly boosting energy efficiency and renewable energies, supported by urgently-needed research in energy storage, is the only path for tackling climate change and combining this with economic development, creating jobs across Europe."

(1) The Greens/EFA group presented an alternative study to the Commission's PINC  paper last month. The study and a summary can be found at: www.greens-efa.eu/pinc-2016-15348.html