Lawmakers for the European Parliament on Monday agreed to a transitional role for nuclear power in the coming decades with a compromise agreement that would permit member states to dip into a fund designed to support transitioning away from coal.
Nuclear power was included in a statement that said the European Council would “acknowledge the need to ensure energy security and to respect the right of member states to decide in their energy mix and to choose the most appropriate technologies.” The next sentence secured nuclear power’s role in the agreement that rolls the policy forward to 2070. “Some members have indicated they use nuclear power as part of their national energy mix.”
The argument over nuclear power pivoted on whether or not it would be classified as a green energy. The compromise allowed that it would be included in the agreement, but under the category of a transitional energy source.
Nuclear Engineering International quoted Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis as saying, “Nuclear energy is clean energy. I don’t know why people have a problem with this.”
“This explicit nuclear mention was required by the Czech Republic and Poland. I did not need it. But it is true that one can’t ask countries whose domestic production relies for 60 or 70% on coal to switch to all renewable overnight,” said French President Emmanuel Macron. The French president also said that nuclear power was critical for avoiding the use of natural gas or turning to importing electricity.
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