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nucleareurope joins panel dedicated to new nuclear finance

On 28 April 2024, nucleareurope Director General, Yves Desbazeille, was invited to join a panel session dedicated to finance during an event on the role of nuclear in the energy transition. This event – held in Turin, Italy – was organised by newcleo, the Atlantic Council and the ISPI Young Talents Program.

In his intervention he noted the remarkable change in conversation when it comes to nuclear over the last 3-4 years.  This is partly due to an energy crisis which had been bubbling beneath the surface and which was exacerbated by the situation in Ukraine. At the same time an important file was being discussed in Brussels: The Sustainable Finance Taxonomy. In this respect, and because of the significant impact which a nuclear exclusion from this file would have had on investments in the nuclear industry, nucleareurope dedicated its efforts into pushing for a fact based approach being used to assess nuclear. He highlighted that, thanks to our efforts, we were able to get a lot of stakeholders on board nd really raise awareness at EU level about the importance of nuclear and having access to private finance.  He added that we are now focused on tackling other EU funds which currently exclude nuclear (such as the Just Transition Fund). 

In terms of the benefits which this file has brought, he noted that it sends the right message to private investors, which are key in the development and deployment of nuclear projects. Thanks to the taxonomy EDF, for example, has been able to issue a Green Bond to help finance the extension of its existing fleet.  In his opinion, there is a strong appetite from the finance community to finance green investments. But at the same time there is need for a conducive investment framework – and this means implementing the right policies. He noted that progress is being made at EU level in this respect with, for example, the Net Zero Industry Act.

He also drew attention to the European Industrial Alliance on SMRs which will bring together a broad range of stakeholders, including investors and energy intensive users. He noted that energy intensive users could in future consider investing in SMRs, given that these can provide not just decarbonised electricity, but also heat and hydrogen.  

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