EU countries reinstate nuclear among ‘strategic’ net-zero technologies

(EurActiv, 8 Dec 2023) Following in the footsteps of the European Parliament last month, EU member states in the Council have also included nuclear energy alongside renewables among the technologies promoted by the EU’s Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA).

In mid-March, the European Commission presented its proposal for a Net-Zero Industry Act, aiming to boost the EU’s domestic capacity to manufacture the technologies considered vital to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

Nuclear power was listed among them but was not initially labelled as “strategic” to achieving climate neutrality in the same way as, for example, renewable energies.

EU ministers rectified this on Thursday (7 December) and added nuclear power to the list of “strategic” technologies as part of their “general approach” to the NZIA – despite opposition from Germany, Austria and Luxembourg.

As a result, nuclear power will benefit from streamlined licensing procedures: a one-stop-shop in each EU country and full digitisation of procedures to ensure that authorisations can be obtained within nine to 12 months.

“This is a positive and effective text,” French Industry Minister Roland Lescure said at the opening of the Council meeting in Brussels. “France was strongly in favour of including nuclear power,” his office added.

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EurActiv, 8 Dec 2023: EU countries reinstate nuclear among ‘strategic’ net-zero technologies