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France hosts pro-nuclear meet to push for EU recognition of climate goals

At the meeting in Paris, the EU Energy Commissioner Kadri SIMSON was joined by representatives of 14 EU member states, including France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Italy attended as an observer, and the United Kingdom was invited as a non EU invitee.

Officials from the French Ministry of Energy said that UK participation is valuable as it could help to share information about economies of scale, since the UK is building two nuclear reactors.

Each country will give an update on their nuclear projects. The official stated that “we will be able …. to see what type of synergies can be put into place to relaunch nuclear in Europe on issues such as financing, job-training and recruitment.”


Yves Desbazeille will give a presentation on the potential for job creation and investment.

In a draft statement following the meeting, the countries said they would encourage the EU commissioner to integrate nuclear into its energy policy. They also urged him to recognise nuclear energy alongside other green technologies as part of EU goals for decarbonisation.

According to the French official, discussions will include the EU Net Zero Industry Act (Act on Industry Net Zero), the Hydrogen Bank and definitions of low carbon hydrogen as well as hydrogen import strategies.


The document calls for the publication a EU communication on small modular nuclear reactors.

The statement could change before being adopted on Tuesday. Participants plan to increase EU nuclear power to 150 gigawatts (from 100GW) by 2050 by building 30 to 40 new reactors of both large and small scale.

As a coordination goal, it is also outlined that the supply chain should be strengthened and Russia’s dependence reduced.

An official of the European Commission said Simson’s presence was a “signal of active attention to an industry that is growing and a technology key for net zero but without compromising our neutrality and limited role”, since any declaration signed would only be between national representatives.

The EU’s energy agenda soared this year after nations split into pro- and against-nuclear alliances over a dispute about whether nuclear energy should be counted towards EU renewable energy goals.

After a compromise was reached at the last minute on this law, France and the other nuclear-friendly states now seek to improve the status and cooperation between countries who use the technology.

Nuclear energy is a great way to produce large amounts of CO2-free electricity. Many European countries, including Poland, are currently planning their first nuclear reactors in order to phase out fossil fuels.

Some landlocked countries, like the Czech Republic see nuclear energy as an important green source, especially since they cannot build large offshore turbine farms, unlike coastal states.

The EU’s opponents of nuclear power include Germany, who shut down its last reactors in Germany last month, Luxembourg, and Austria. They cite waste disposal and maintenance problems that plagued France’s fleet over the past few years.

Austria and Luxembourg have taken the EU to court for its decision to label nuclear investment as “green”.

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