Press release

Nuclear recognised as not causing significant harm by JRC

Mar 29, 2021

Brussels, 29 March 2021: According to the Joint Research Centre’s assessment of nuclear under the taxonomy, leaked to the press last week, nuclear does not cause more harm to human health nor the environment than any other power-producing technology which is considered as sustainable.   As a result, FORATOM now calls upon the European Commission to move ahead with the inclusion of nuclear under the Sustainable finance Taxonomy and Ecolabel for Retail Financial Products.  

As highlighted in the assessment, measures exist to prevent the occurrence of the potentially harmful impacts thanks to existing technology”, states Yves Desbazeille, FORATOM Director General. “Furthermore, the impacts of nuclear energy are deemed to be comparable with hydropower and the renewables when it comes to non-radiological effects.”  

For the time being, nuclear has been neither included nor excluded from the taxonomy due to the fact that the former Technical Expert Group recommended that nuclear be assessed by experts with an in-depth knowledge of the nuclear lifecycle. 

One of the important issues identified by the TEG is that of radioactive waste disposal, and the fact that there was currently no long-term solution in operation.  Here, the JRC has responded to the TEG’s concerns by highlighting that “there is broad scientific and technical consensus that disposal of high-level, long-lived radioactive waste in deep geologic formations is, at the state of today’s knowledge, considered as an appropriate and safe means of isolating it from the biosphere for very long time scales”.

We now have the assessment which we have been waiting for, and so the time has come for nuclear to be added to the taxonomy and the ecolabel” adds Mr Desbazeille.  “At the same time, as an industry we will also pay serious attention to the recommendations which are put forward by the JRC to make sure that all technically feasible measures are implemented to render the European nuclear sector as sustainable as possible.”

FORATOM now hopes that the Commission will take on board this scientific assessment and provide a clarity on how and when it will include nuclear under the taxonomy in the coming days.  Furthermore, FORATOM calls for the draft Ecolabel for Retail Financial Products to be reviewed in order to remove the nuclear exclusion before submitting to the Council and Parliament.

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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