FORATOM calls for the EU to recognise nuclear as a strategic industry
Brussels, 11 March 2020: FORATOM welcomes the European Commission’s goal of ensuring Europe’s industry is fit for the ambitions of today and prepared for the realities of tomorrow, as outlined in its Industrial Strategy published yesterday. The European nuclear industry stands ready to help Europe achieve its goals in terms of providing clean energy and maintaining Europe’s competitiveness.
As highlighted in the Industrial Strategy, one of the key challenges ahead is ensuring that Europe’s industry has access to a secure supply of clean energy at a competitive price. This is crucial for maintaining Europe’s competitiveness.
“Nuclear energy can contribute to making this a reality” states Yves Desbazeille, FORATOM’s Director General. “Not only is it low-carbon, it is also flexible, dispatchable and cost-effective”.
Indeed, nuclear energy is vital in this respect as it can help:
- Maintain the competitiveness of Europe’s industry as energy often accounts for a significant share of manufacturing costs,
- Decarbonise industry and thus contribute towards the 2050 carbon neutrality target,
- Provide industry with the energy it needs when it needs it, which is particularly important for processes which run 24/7,
- Other industries by offering alternative sources of decarbonised energy such as hydrogen and heat (sector coupling).
“It is also important to bear in mind that the European nuclear industry provides not only electricity, but also medical isotopes and other applications for industry and agriculture” adds Mr Desbazeille. “In light of this, we firmly believe that the nuclear sector should be recognised as a strategic European industry”.
The European nuclear industry also contributes significantly to the EU’s economy as it currently sustains around 1 million jobs in the EU and generates around €450 billion in GDP.
This is why it is essential that EU decision-makers take steps to support the nuclear sector’s important role within the EU economy. This includes a stable EU policy framework, and one which encourages investment in high-overnight costs, low-carbon technologies. Significant support to R&D and innovation as well as increase funding for research into both current and future nuclear technologies such as SMRs, is also key to prepare for the future, develop new applications and breakthrough designs and technologies.
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.
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 Economic and Social Impact report, Deloitte 2019. EU27 + UK