N. Peter Kramer’s Weekly Column
In spring, the European Commission presented its proposal for the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA). The act aimed to boost EU’s capacity to manufacture technologies considered vital to reach climate neutrality by 2050. Nuclear power was listed but not as ‘strategic’ to achieving climate neutrality as for example renewables.
France and 8 other memberstates (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) strongly supported the importance of nuclear power and its financing at the EU level.
December 7, the EU Council of ministers decided to add nuclear power to the list of ‘strategic’ technologies as part of the ‘general approach’ to the NZIA. Germany, Austria and Luxembourg tried unsuccessfully to block this. The Council followed with its decision the European Parliament that last months added nuclear power alongside renewables.
The Luxembourg minister said he ‘regrets that nuclear technologies are considered strategic’. On the German side, the pill is harder to swallow. Years ago, then Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel banned nuclear energy completely from the German list; the current national German energy policy is based on her decision.
Now, the Council and the European Parliament officially support nuclear power. A significant victory for the sector!