Views from ...
2020 will be a crucial year for nuclear energy and FORATOM
Yves Desbazeille, FORATOM Director General
2019 was an important year for nuclear energy in the European Union as it ended with a few very important developments which will impact the future of nuclear energy in the years to come. In December, the European Green Deal has been revealed by the new European Commission, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on COP25 that recognised the important role of nuclear energy, the European Council included nuclear energy as an important tool mitigating climate change and the trilogue on the EU Taxonomy, which doesn’t exclude nuclear energy from sustainable finance mechanisms, has been concluded.
That being said, the next 12 months may even have a bigger impact on nuclear energy and its role in the European Union. FORATOM will spend this time making sure that nuclear energy is included in all EU legislations that aim to define Europe’s energy mix – as nuclear energy can help the European Union achieve a sustainable and low-carbon future whilst at the same time providing people with reliable and affordable electricity.
Apart from the upcoming work on various EU energy-related developments, 2020 will be also an important year for FORATOM.
This year, FORATOM will celebrate its 60th anniversary as the first meeting of the Constituent General Assembly took place on 12 July 1960 in Paris. Since then, we have been representing the interests of the European nuclear industry in policy discussions with EU Institutions and other key stakeholders. To mark this anniversary, FORATOM will carry out a number of various activities highlighting the association’s achievements – including the second edition of the #NuclearEurope conference, which will take place on 26 June in Paris.
We will also organise another edition of a FORATOM-IAEA Management Systems Workshop, which will take place in Helsinki, Finland, in September. The upcoming workshop will serve as an international forum on management systems and quality management standards.
Also in 2020, FORATOM’s Investment Framework Task Force will conclude the ongoing work and publish its findings with a goal to ensure that past and current practices in the field of nuclear financing can be used by others.
In addition, FORATOM’s Supply Chain Optimisation Working Group will publish its report on optimising the nuclear industry’s supply chain. The report will include a list of recommendations on what should be done to enable a continuous development of safety and reliability of the EU nuclear fleet.
Last year, a group of senior leaders representing the whole European nuclear industry (so-called #NuclearEuropeLeaders) issued a joint manifesto. In the document, the European nuclear industry committed itself to achieving key objectives which will allow the industry to grow. 2020 will be the year during which the key promises will be delivered.
The pathway ahead of us in 2020 won’t be easy. There are many challenges to overcome in the next 12 months. We can see that there are still many voices at EU level which – contrary to facts and calls from organisations such as the IPCC – want to exclude nuclear energy from Europe’s low-carbon future. The whole European nuclear industry and FORATOM have to work together to ensure that nuclear energy will maintain its role in the ongoing energy transition and in Europe’s future energy mix. 2020 will be the year in which we can make it happen.