22 Sep (NucNet): The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has called for a more comprehensive nuclear strategy to be incorporated in a revised version of the European Commission’s (EC) Illustrative Programme for Nuclear Energy, or Pinc.
The latest Pinc was released in April 2016, eight years after a 2008 revision. In an opinion paper adopted today the EESC says competitiveness, economy, security of supply, climate change and public acceptability are “key considerations” for the future of nuclear power in Europe.
The paper says the EC should propose in Pinc a clear analytical process and methodology offering “a consistent, voluntary framework for national decision-making” about nuclear’s place in the energy mix.
The EESC says there is little understanding of the wide variations in public attitudes to nuclear power and this has significant impact on political acceptability.
The EESC is calling for more information on how nuclear power contributes to a “balanced, climate-friendly energy mix”.
Major uncertainties for the EU’s energy sector include the extent to which the Paris agreement on climate change will be implemented, the volatility of the international market for fossil fuels, the rate at which new technologies will be applied, which countries are members of the EU, the global economic outlook, and how much of the investment required in the whole energy chain will be forthcoming, the EESC says.
“The EC’s proposal does not offer a clear and comprehensive approach to the future of nuclear power in Europe”, said EESC rapporteur Brian Curtis. He added: “The recent Hinkley Point controversy shows it again: after the Fukushima catastrophe, our citizens righty demand long-term planning for nuclear energy. Today’s EESC opinion aims at re-balancing perspectives on the European energy mix which will ultimately help deliver on the Energy Union commitments.”
The EC is mandated to periodically issue a new Pinc under Article 40 of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) Treaty in order to indicate non-binding targets and programmes for nuclear production and any necessary investment that might be needed.
The EESC is a consultative body which represents the interests of civil society organisations and stakeholders at EU level. Its opinions are forwarded to the EC, the European Council, and the European Parliament and are considered in the EU’s decision-making process.
The EESC’s opinion is online: http://bit.ly/2cTEF9q
The Pinc is online: http://bit.ly/1YarqPP