Nuclear power in the European energy transition: which countries are in favor and which are against it

Nuclear yes or nuclear no? The question that has been unraveling over the decades does not seem to be answered.
nuclear power plant

Nuclear yes or nuclear no? The question that has been unraveling over the decades does not seem to be answered. In fact, both camps have very staunch supporters, among whom agreement really seems impossible. And the problem comes to a head especially at the moment when these parties are forced to reason together on such a thorny issue.

As is well known, in fact, in recent months, at the European level, the role of this kind power in the energy transition that we should all face to combat climate change is being reasoned about.

It had caused a stir a few months ago when the European Commission decided to include nuclear energy in its green taxonomy of energy sources. Thus, to be used as a means “to facilitate the transition to a renewable future.”

From there, endless discussions had arisen. So much so that in recent days the EU Commission had pushed to remove this kind of power from the list of green technologies for industry in the coming years.

So we are moving first in one direction, and later in the other, without ultimately making definitive decisions. Not least because on the role of nuclear power in the energy transition in Europe there are two distinctly different groups. Let’s see them.

EU countries who support a role for nuclear power in the energy transition

The group of European countries eager to give nuclear power a prominent role in the future energy landscape is made up of 11 well-defined players, led by France.

It is no coincidence that they speak of a “Macron nuclear alliance“. Forming the atomic front, in addition to France, are Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Hungary, Finland, the Netherlands. As well as Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

And one can be certain of the positions of these countries since all of their ministers, a few weeks ago, agreed to enter into closer collaborations. Precisely in the field of nuclear energy.

It was France, moreover, that had pushed for nuclear power to be included in the EU Commission’s green taxonomy. And that France wants to go straight for the atom is no surprise. The country in fact meets more than half of its energy needs precisely with nuclear power plants.

The countries against nuclear power in Europe

And if the group of countries that desire a role for nuclear power in Europe’s energy transition is transparent, the same can now be said about the other side. Indeed, 7 countries have openly come out against the atomic front.

Leading the group could only be Germany, in a real tug-of-war between Berlin and Paris. Alongside the Germans are Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain.

As pointed out in a letter addressed to the EU’s rotating president, namely Sweden, the 7 countries are convinced that:

including hydrogen and low-carbon fuels among the 2030 targets would result in slowing down the ambition. Thus slowing down the deployment of renewables, putting at risk the achievement of climate goals.

And again, from the same front, the fact that nuclear power does not represent renewable energy is emphasized. As well as the major problem of nuclear waste.

Indeed, the issue of waste management remains open. Knowing that it is still a long road to power plants capable of concretely reducing waste production.

Read also: From carbon capture, to nuclear, to hydrogen: 10 ways to net zero emissions

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