FORATOM welcomes adoption of complementary delegated act by Commissioners
Today, the College of Commissioners adopted a Complementary Delegated Act which includes nuclear within the sustainable finance taxonomy under certain conditions. FORATOM welcomes this decision, and in particular the statement by Commissioner McGuiness that even if this has proven a challenging task it is important that the taxonomy remain science-based. Nevertheless, some of the criteria put forward for nuclear will prove very challenging to attain.
“We remain disappointed that nuclear continues to be treated as a transitional technology. We firmly believe that it contributes to climate mitigation objectives and does not cause more harm than any other power-producing technology already considered as taxonomy compliant. This has been confirmed by the Commission’s own experts from the Joint Research Center.” states Yves Desbazeille, FORATOM Director General. “But hopefully when moving forward with plans to integrate Generation IV technologies this will be rectified, particularly given Commissioner McGuiness’ statement that nuclear is expected to remain part of the EU’s energy mix beyond 2050 in accordance with the Commission’s own forecasts”
According to the proposal adopted, nuclear can be considered as taxonomy compliant as long as it meets several stringent conditions, including the following:
- The Member State in which the project is located must have operational final disposal facilities for very low, low and intermediate radioactive waste
- The Member State in which the project is located must have plans in place for an operational disposal facility for high level radioactive waste
- As of 2025, existing and new build projects must use Accident-Tolerant Fuel, which has been certified and approved by the national regulator
“These criteria will prove very challenging, even if we respect that the goal is to push for continuous improvement” adds Mr Desbazeille. “For example, Accident-Tolerant Fuels are still in the testing phase and will thus not be commercially available (nor certified and approved) by 2025 making it impossible for projects to meet this criteria.”
Furthermore, and as confirmed by Commissioner McGuiness during today’s press conference, the normal operation and maintenance of existing installations is not included under the taxonomy, only capital expenditure destined for the life-time extension of the existing fleet.
FORATOM will continue to liaise with the European Commission going forward in order to ensure that future reviews of the Technical Screening Criteria are in line with science based technical progress achieved by the industry.
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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