According to sources, the inclusion of nuclear power in the EU’s “green taxonomy” is only a matter of time. However, the EU has now given the countries more time to think about the proposal. But with more time comes more criticism.
Austria and Luxembourg are already threatening to sue. Austrian Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler said: “Yesterday, the EU Commission took a step towards greenwashing nuclear power and fossil gas in a cloak-and-dagger operation,” adding “For Austria, however, it is quite clear: Neither nuclear power nor the burning of fossil gas have any place in the taxonomy.” She has also prompted a legal review of the inclusion of nuclear power in the taxonomy.
Luxembourg’s Environment Minister Carole Dieschbourg announced that she would join a lawsuit: “We will join a lawsuit” she told Table Media.
Now the German Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Disposal has also voiced criticism about the possible inclusion. It says that the plans of the EU are anything but sustainable and could not understand them. According to the agency, nuclear power is a high-risk technology that is prone to weapons misuse. Nuclear weapons could be misused for war and terrorist purposes. That, along with criticism of nuclear waste disposal, will be a burden on future generations, the authority criticizes the plans.
Why will nuclear power be included in the taxonomy anyway?
France as one of the big economic nations in the EU produces 70% of its energy with nuclear power. Finland and the Netherlands are also in favor of nuclear power. These countries are exerting pressure to adopt nuclear power. Since the EU countries for the energy transition are divided between nuclear power and natural gas, the solution will probably come somewhere in between and both will be included.
The reliable alternatives in the EU are missing. In terms of CO2 emissions, nuclear power is the cleanest and at the same time the most reliable way of energy production at present. Since greenhouse gases, especially CO2, are the main enemy of the great thinkers today, nuclear power sounds like the best alternative. In addition, work is currently underway on new, smaller reactors that appear to have a high level of safety.
Last but not least, to halt the EU Commission’s proposal, 20 of the 27 member states with at least 65 percent of the EU population would have to vote against it – or get an absolute majority of the EU Parliament. Both of these requirements seem very unlikely.