Tim Yeo: New Nuclear Watch Europe (NNWE) has long argued that new nuclear build is critical to meeting Europe’s decarbonisation targets. However, the interest group recognises that, if Europe is serious about its climate change commitments, the much needed shift from fossil fuels to low carbon generation sources, such as nuclear, is potentially threatened by the economics. In the latest of a planned series of Brussels-based, Nuclear Energy Policy Forum events, NNWE called on pro-nuclear countries across Europe (that is, the EU and beyond), to work together even more closely and harmonise safety requirements with the aim of reducing the cost of new nuclear to the benefit of consumers and governments alike. Safety requirements for nuclear new build vary considerably across the EU and its neighbouring countries. NNWE maintains that harmonisation of those requirements will drive costs down and allow the technology to compete on economic grounds. At the same time, NNWE is clear that in calling for the harmonisation of safety requirements it is not suggesting that any consequent reduction in the cost of nuclear new build should be at the expense of safety. Nuclear power stations have an outstanding record of safety in Europe and that should not be compromised. The Brussels event brought together representatives from across the EU Institutions and the nuclear sector to consider whether the lack of harmonised safety requirements have made nuclear plants too expensive to build.
Euractiv 15th Dec 2016 read more »