Press release

Commission mandates JRC for nuclear assessment under taxonomy

Jul 3, 2020

Brussels, 3 July 2020: FORATOM welcomes the European Commission’s decision to appoint the Joint Research Centre (JRC) as the group of experts which will assess nuclear under the sustainable finance taxonomy. In its communication on this issue, the Commission has made it clear that the assessment should be scientifically rigorous, transparent, balanced – and reflect the principle of technology neutrality.

This shows that they have taken recommendations that nuclear be assessed by scientific experts seriously” states Yves Desbazeille, FORATOM Director General. “This is something which many stakeholders – including industry, several Member States and MEPs – have been calling for over the past year.

According to the mandate, the JRC will draft a technical report on the ‘do no significant harm’ aspects of nuclear energy. This report will then be reviewed by experts on radiation protection and waste management under Article 31 of the Euratom Treaty, as well as by experts on environmental impacts from an equivalent Commission environmental group or committee. FORATOM supports this approach as it will enable a robust, science-based assessment of nuclear.

Once the work is completed, the Commission will then decide on whether nuclear does indeed qualify as a sector eligible for sustainable finance.  Nevertheless, DG FISMA has already indicated that the work will not be completed before 2021, meaning that it will not be ready in time for the delegated acts (DAs) relating to climate mitigation and adaptation.

FORATOM regrets the fact that the assessment will not be ready in time,’ adds Mr Desbazeille. “Whilst the Commission has indicated that it may consider revising these DAs in 2021 to potentially reintroduce nuclear, we would recommend that the evaluation of the energy sector should be postponed until the assessment of nuclear is complete. Otherwise, it risks distorting the market by enabling some technologies to access relevant funds before others”.

FORATOM remains convinced that a robust, scientific assessment of nuclear will lead to the inclusion of the EU’s largest source of low-carbon electricity under the Sustainable Finance Initiative.

About us: The European Atomic Forum (FORATOM) is the Brussels-based trade association for the nuclear energy industry in Europe. The membership of FORATOM is made up of 15 national nuclear associations and through these associations, FORATOM represents nearly 3,000 European companies working in the industry and supporting around 1,100,000 jobs.

For more information, please contact Jessica Johnson: jessica.johnson@foratom.org.

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