Eleven Member States launch a “nuclear alliance” in Europe

The Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, brought together 12 countries and the European Commission on February 28 to launch a nuclear alliance in Europe. The aim is to improve cooperation regarding skills, innovation, and safety.

During a European meeting on energy, twelve Member States met to launch, at the initiative of France, a nuclear alliance. Eleven countries signed a joint declaration: “Nuclear energy is one of the many tools for achieving our climate objectives, producing basic electricity and guaranteeing the security of supply. This declaration can be considered a sober one, but one that carries weight in Europe, where Germany, which is very anti-nuclear, has a strong influence, supported by Austria and Luxembourg.

The eleven signatory countries are France, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. As President of the Union, Sweden has maintained its neutrality, despite upcoming nuclear projects in which the French industry could play a significant role. Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher’s advisors point out that other countries, including those less advanced in nuclear power, are ready to join the alliance, such as Italy, certain Baltic countries, and Belgium (despite the recent shutdown of reactors).

Historic nuclear cooperation

In a press briefing, the French minister explained that this alliance should help promote nuclear cooperation in Europe, recalling that the Euratom Treaty is the basis of European construction. She mentioned innovation in new reactors, particularly SMRs, developing skills without European countries entering into a competition on these subjects, and subcontracting and safety.

This alliance comes when nuclear power is becoming increasingly important in Europe. Thirteen EU countries are now turning to nuclear power through calls for tender and call for projects. In addition, nuclear power is gradually being promoted by the Commission. After including nuclear power in the European taxonomy that lists climate protection-friendly activities, the European Commission has finally recognized the atom’s place in low-carbon hydrogen production. ■

By Ludovic Dupin (Sfen)

Photos: © Claudio Bresciani / TT NEWS AGENCY / TT News Agency via AFP