Electricity

France gathers 10 fellow EU member states into pro-nuclear bloc

nuclear alliance France EU member states pro nuclear bloc

Photo: EU energy and transportation ministers held an informal meeting in Stockholm (Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU)

Published

March 1, 2023

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Published:

March 1, 2023

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France has initiated closer cooperation within a group with ten more European Union member states, aiming to form a nuclear alliance.

Nuclear energy is one of the crucial elements in decarbonizing the EU, according to 11 member states that host or want to add nuclear power plants. Closer cooperation was initiated in 2021 with a push to include nuclear energy in the EU’s so-called green or climate taxonomy, spearheaded by France and Poland.

In the meantime, the emerging bloc managed to convince the European Commission to propose labeling hydrogen produced using electricity from nuclear plants as green or, more precisely, low-carbon hydrogen.

The government in Paris now wants to form a “nuclear alliance” with fellow EU countries, according to the office of Minister for Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher. After the discussions at the informal meeting of telecommunications, transportation and energy ministers and top EU officials in Stockholm, the ministry said the pro-nuclear countries have reaffirmed “their desire to strengthen European cooperation in the field of nuclear energy.”

Group to coordinate positions in EU talks

Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Hungary, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia will promote research and sharing of technical knowledge in line with Euratom Treaty, signed in 1957, according to the announcement. The ministers agreed their nuclear sectors would work together to improve supply chains, explore joint training programs and industrial projects and support innovative technologies and the operation of existing nuclear plants, the statement reads.

France highlighted the role of nuclear power in the production of baseload electricity and the security of supply. The aim of the initiative for a nuclear alliance is also to coordinate positions within EU negotiations.

Commissioner Simson hints at rolling out CfDs for nuclear power

Romania expressed the belief that the decarbonization of transportation and industry is not possible without taking into account all energy sources with low carbon emissions, and added that nuclear energy is “a safe and clean solution alongside renewable sources.”

At the informal meeting of the Energy Council, part of the Council of the EU, the ministers discussed plans for the electricity market reforms and the preparations to secure energy supply for next winter and beyond.

European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson suggested that state support measures through contracts for difference (CfDs) could include low-carbon installations, effectively nuclear plants.

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