This open letter from FORATOM (the association for the nuclear energy industry in Europe) and other signatories, including the Spanish Industry Nuclear Forum, highlights the essential role of nuclear power in the production of energy without CO2 emissions in the European Union by 2050, a role that the European Commission fully acknowledges.
Today, the European Union (EU) and the world are confronted by an unprecedented health and economic crisis and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is rightly the immediate priority for everyone. The energy sector across the EU, with nuclear energy at its core, continues to play an important role in that effort -we are reliably maintaining essential power supplies, whilst ensuring the safety of our employees, customers, the public and the environment.
26% of the electricity produced in the EU comes from nuclear energy and it remains the largest source of low carbon electricity. However, 50% of the EU’s electricity mix is still based on historic CO2 emitting fossil fuel technologies and these must be replaced by new low carbon sources as the EU transitions to a carbon neutral economy by 2050. At the same time, additional power capacity will be required to meet growing power demand.
26% of the electricity produced in the European Union comes from nuclear power
The investment challenge is huge and the European Commission’s strategic vision (“A Clean Planet for All”) explicitly recognizes that nuclear, together with renewables, will form the backbone of the EU’s carbon-free power sector in 2050. Today’s deployed nuclear technology, coupled with further nuclear technology innovation, research and development is the perfect complement to renewables to deliver low carbon electricity - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Nuclear can also be a significant contributor to district heating and low-carbon hydrogen production. In addition, it plays an indispensable role in the medical sector - through diagnostic and therapeutic applications, to detecting and curing cancer, nuclear technology supports Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.
Member States have been clear that if they are to achieve their climate targets, a technology neutral approach will be essential. For some, any solution that excludes nuclear energy will be more expensive, less effective in delivering carbon reduction and will put at increased risk security of supply and system resilience.
Any solution that excludes nuclear power will be more expensive, less effective in delivering carbon reduction
With thoughts across the EU turning to economic recovery and the need to rebuild economies after the coronavirus, the commitment to addressing climate change has not wavered and will guide and shape recovery efforts. The energy sector will therefore continue to have a crucial role.
The European nuclear industry is ready and able to play its part, supporting national and EU clean, green economic revival by continuing to provide:
- growth, jobs (today the nuclear industry maintain 1.1 million direct and indirect jobs) and wealth creation at EU, national and regional level,
- research and innovation,
- export growth potential,
- progress towards a net zero economy, whilst maintaining full complianc
The nuclear sector is already an important industrial sector in the EU and is strong across the full nuclear life cycle.
To conclude, the energy sector, with nuclear at its heart, is continuing to play a critical role powering the EU, delivering an essential low carbon service to households and businesses in a safe, competitive and reliable way and keeping the economy moving. We are also ready to play a leading role in the economic recovery, helping to provide the cleaner and more resilient economy of the future that we all strive for.
Ansaldo Energia Group, CEA, CEZ Group, EDF, EDF Energy, EnergoATOM, Engie, Tractebel Engie, Fennovoima, Fermi, Fortum, Framatome, Skupina, Kozloduy NPP, NuclearElectrica, ONET Technologies, Orano, Slovenské Elektrárne, Sydkraft, Synatom, Tecnatom, TVO, Urenco, Vattenfall, Westinghouse, FORATOM, Associazione Italiana Nucleare, Bulgarian Atomic Forum, Finnish Energy, Foro de la Industria Nuclear Española, Forum Nucléaire belge, French Nuclear Industry Association, Magyar AtomFórum Egyesület, Nucleair Nederland, Nuclear Industry Association, Romatom, Swedish Atomic Forum, Slovenian Nuclear Forum, UNF Association