Messianic Perry preaches nuclear to sceptical Europeans

(EurActiv, 22 Oct 2019) Small nuclear reactors can help “vulnerable nations take control of their destinies,” the US energy secretary said in Brussels today (21 October), claiming that small off-grid nuclear plants can bring electricity to poor nations and “disperse the darkness” around the globe.

Countries with nuclear power “can’t be controlled by other countries wielding energy as a geopolitical weapon”, US Secretary of State Rick Perry said in Brussels as he addressed a forum of policymakers and industry representatives from both sides of the Atlantic.

Nuclear power helps “vulnerable nations take control of their destinies,” Perry claimed, arguing that “energy security also bolsters national security”.

Perry attended the first EU-US high-level forum on small modular reactors. His remarks on energy independence were chiefly aimed at Eastern European countries, which have repeatedly complained about Russian interference in national politics, using gas as a lever.

Nuclear is a divise topic in Europe. While countries like France opted for it decades ago, others like Germany and Austria are strongly opposed.

“Nuclear energy is neither safe and sustainable nor cost-effective,” said German State Secretary for Energy, Andreas Feicht, during a recent meeting of EU energy ministers,  firmly rejecting suggestions that EU money might be used to extend the lifetime of existing nuclear plants.

But Perry’s message was broader, and was also addressed at developing nations whom he said could benefit from small off-grid nuclear plants.

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EurActiv, 22 Oct 2019: Messianic Perry preaches nuclear to sceptical Europeans