EU Commissioner underlines the role of nuclear energy in the transition towards a low carbon economy


EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs has reiterated the importance of nuclear energy for the reduction of CO2 emissions in a speech at a European Nuclear Assembly conference in Brussels.

The conference was dedicated to the development of Europe's low carbon economy and organised by Foratom.

"Nuclear energy makes an important contribution to our fight against climate change and our security of energy supply - but, we need to strengthen the cooperation between EU Member states on the issues related to the safety and security of nuclear installations and the treatment of nuclear waste" - Commissioner Piebalgs said.

The EU needs substantial investments in order to replace its ageing power plants. A large number of currently operating nuclear power plants will reach the end of their lifespan before 2030. In order to make the necessary investments possible, the Commission is examining ways to address the difficulties related to licensing, financing and different nuclear liability regimes.

While highlighting the important role of nuclear in the overall energy mix, Commissioner Piebalgs also pointed out the need to address nuclear safety concerns, nuclear waste management and transparency - all of which are important elements for public acceptance of nuclear energy.

He outlined recent Commission initiatives - such as the High Level Group on Nuclear Safety and Waste Management, the European Nuclear Energy Forum and the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNE-TP).