A consultative body of the European Union has called for the European Commission to adopt a “more comprehensive” nuclear strategy. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) says the commission should highlight nuclear energy’s positive attributes. The European Commission is mandated by the Euratom Treaty to periodically issue a new Nuclear Illustrative Program (PINC) to indicate targets and a program for nuclear production and the corresponding investment required. The Commission issued its latest PINC in April this year. According to the EC, there are currently 129 nuclear power reactors in operation in the EU with a combined generating capacity of 120 GWe. Together they provide 27% of the bloc’s electricity. However, the Commission forecasts that there will be a decline in EU nuclear capacity up to 2025 due to ageing reactors being retired and some member states ending or reducing their reliance on nuclear energy. With new reactors starting up and lifetime extensions of existing reactors, this trend is expected to be reversed by 2030. Nuclear capacity is likely to remain between 95 and 105 GWe by 2050, when it will account for about 20% of the EU’s electricity production. Around 90% of the EU’s existing reactors would be shut down by 2030 without long-term operation programs, resulting in the need to replace large amounts of capacity, the EC said.
World Nuclear News 26th Sept 2016 read more »