8 Feb (NucNet): The European Commission (EC) should establish clear guidelines on investment for nuclear new build in the forthcoming Illustrative Programme for Nuclear Energy (Pinc), the Brussels-based industry group Foratom said.
In contrast to renewable energy projects, which enjoy “clear guidelines”, investments in the nuclear sector are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and this deters potential interest in new build, Foratom director-general Jean-Pol Poncelet said.
The EC is mandated to periodically issue a new Pinc to indicate targets and programmes for nuclear production and any necessary investment. The new document is expected to be published on 29 February 2016, nine years after the release of the last Pinc in 2007.
Foratom also said the current EU emission trading system (ETS) does not provide “sufficient incentive” for developing low-carbon energy.
According to Richard Ivens, Foratom’s institutional affairs director, carbon princes, currently at around €7 ($7.7) per tonne of CO2, are too low. He said the price should be considerably increased to about €30 per tonne of CO2 in order to support the business case for developing low-carbon energy sources, including nuclear and renewables.
In a 2015 position paper, Foratom said more than 100 nuclear reactors would need to be commissioned over the next 35 years if Europe was to maintain at least the current capacity of nuclear generation.
Asked about the eventual cost of such a major new build effort, Mr Ivens said the required investment would probably be between €500bn and €800bn, based on recent estimates.
Without changes in the EU regulatory and market environments, this target cannot be realistically achieved, Mr Poncelet told NucNet.