Nuclear partially recognised under Net Zero Industry Act
The European Commission has decided to partially include nuclear by referencing Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and advanced reactors under its Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA). Whilst this is a step in the right direction, nucleareurope believes that much more could still be achieved by including the nuclear sector as a whole and treating nuclear in the same way as other strategic technologies.
“We understand that the discussions around the inclusion of nuclear under the NZIA have proved challenging, and so it is positive to see at least some reference to nuclear technologies in the text” states Yves Desbazeille, nucleareurope Director General. “But unfortunately, this is not enough. The US has recognised the importance of supporting its entire nuclear sector by including it under the Inflation Reduction Act. By supporting the European nuclear sector through the NZIA, the EU has the opportunity of placing us on an equal footing with other global regions, and of remaining a key player in the global competition for clean technologies.”
As highlighted in an Open Letter sent earlier this week, nuclear is clearly a strategic European technology:
- It is a low-carbon source of energy, available 24/7. It currently provides around 50% of the low-carbon electricity in Europe. In future, it will potentially also provide large volumes of heat, steam and hydrogen. This will help the EU reach its decarbonisation goals whilst also ensuring security of supply and maintaining a competitive industrial base.
- It is an important European industry, composed of a highly skilled manufacturing capacity based in the EU. The nuclear value chain is currently well established in different EU Member States, and with an annual turnover of around €100 billion, the sector has a significant direct and indirect impact on the EU’s GDP (around €500 billion).
The NZIA will set the scene for industrial players in the years to come and determine the degree of EU strategic autonomy in terms of key technologies needed for the energy transition. In this respect, the nuclear industry stands ready to deliver what is needed to reach Net Zero by 2050, ensure security of supply, strengthen European resilience and tackle affordability.
“However, without the support of policies such as NZIA, it is going to make the industry’s job much more difficult, especially in a world where other regions are supporting and promoting their nuclear technologies globally” adds Mr Dezbazeille.
About us: nucleareurope is the Brussels-based trade association for the nuclear energy industry in Europe. The membership of nucleareurope is made up of 15 national nuclear associations and through these associations, nucleareurope represents nearly 3,000 European companies working in the industry and supporting around 1,100,000 jobs.
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