Nuclear Politics

Foratom / JRC’s Taxonomy Nuclear Review Is ‘Pretty Conclusive And Very Thorough’

By David Dalton
2 April 2021

Industry group says Joint Research Centre’s views must be taken into account
JRC’s Taxonomy Nuclear Review Is ‘Pretty Conclusive And Very Thorough’
The results of the Joint Research Centre’s (JRC) assessment of nuclear energy under the European Union’s taxonomy are “pretty conclusive and very thorough” we must be taken into account when additional expert groups review the JRC’s work, the Brussels-based nuclear industry association Foratom said.

In a blog on Foratom’s website, communication and EU stakeholders director Jessica Johnson said the European commission has designated two additional expert groups to review the work of the JRC and produce opinions before the summer break.

She said Foratom has been calling on the commission to include nuclear under the first delegated act if the JRC’s work was completed in time. “With the delegated act postponed at least until the second half of April, we think this is now a viable option and we call on the commission to give this serious consideration,” Ms Johnson said. “It will remove the uncertainty surrounding the future of nuclear under the taxonomy and will mean that all technologies are treated at the same time, preferably on an equal footing.”

Ms Johnson said other options, such as treating nuclear as a standalone text or leaving it until the delegated acts are reviewed in the (potentially distant) future are not acceptable to the nuclear industry as this would lead to too much uncertainty.

Delegated acts are legally-binding rules which will supplement the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy. The taxonomy aims at creating a common language that investors can refer to when investing in projects and economic activities that have a substantial positive impact on the climate and the environment. It came into force on 12 July 2020, but left a final decision on some technical criteria to be included in delegated acts subject to expert review and public consultation.

The JRC was tasked with assessing whether the European Union should label nuclear power as a green investment. It concluded that nuclear qualifies as sustainable and does no more harm to human health or to the environment than other electricity production technologies already included in taxonomy.

Ms Johnson said the ball is now in the commission’s court. She said tackling climate change means listening to the science and not the politics. And the science is clear: nuclear energy is sustainable.

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