Nuclear Politics

Interview / Nuclear Industry Has ‘Part To Play’ In Development Of EU Economy, Says Foratom Boss

By Kamen Kraev
21 February 2020

Recognition of all low-carbon sources should be part of Brussel’s upcoming industrial strategy
Nuclear Industry Has ‘Part To Play’ In Development Of EU Economy, Says Foratom Boss
The European nuclear industry will strive to fit into the European Union’s upcoming industrial strategy proving that it is capable of playing a part in the development of the bloc’s economy, according to Yves Desbazeille, director of Brussels-based industry group Foratom.

Mr Desbazeille told NucNet in an interview that it would be enough a recognition for the nuclear industry to be “simply” considered part of low-carbon energy sources by the European Commission in its industrial strategy and subsequent policy proposals.

“What we must absolutely avoid is to be explicitly excluded from these developments as was the case for the proposed Just Transition Fund”, he said.

“We are not asking for any special treatment, but rather for a level playing field for all low-carbon sources.”

Mr Desbazeille said nuclear industry has a lot to offer to the European economy, because maintaining jobs and growth are among the EU’s priorities, and for this it will need to maintain a strong domestic industrial base.

Increased globalisation means Europe’s industries are facing strong competition from other parts of the world, which is in part because of higher energy costs, he said.

Mr Desbazeille said: “In the context of the future European industrial strategy, nuclear is capable of providing stable low-carbon electricity – compared with renewables – at an affordable cost.”

He said many industries are energy intensive and will need to find solutions which can help them decarbonise their manufacturing processes.

“Otherwise, Europe will run the risk of losing its industries due to so-called “carbon leakage”. Nuclear has a role to play in supporting these industries and helping them to remain in Europe”, he added.

Mr Desbazeille told NucNet that Foratom is working on a report aimed at helping the optimisation of the industry’s supply chain, a topic of frequent discussion among industry experts.

The report is expected to make recommendations on what should be done to support the continuous development of safety and reliability of the European nuclear fleet, which will be shown to EU policy makers and stakeholders, said Mr Desbazeille.

The full text of the interview is online.

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