Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Nuclear power: EU Commission wants to strengthen nuclear energy in Europe – SPIEGEL ONLINE

In Germany to 2022 the last nuclear power plant off the grid – in Europe, however, the controversial technology is to be strengthened by the will of the European Commission. The EU must defend its technological dominance in the nuclear sector, says the draft strategy paper which SPIEGEL ONLINE. Member States should therefore strengthen cooperation on researching, developing, financing and constructing new innovative reactors.

The paper should be the basis of future nuclear policy of the EU Commission. It is to be adopted on Wednesday by the commissioners responsible for Energy Union, and then submitted to the EU Parliament.

In the paper it is proposed, among other things, to improve the conditions for investment. Funds are flowing inter alia from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and the EU’s research programs. will be managed some of these programs also through the European Investment Bank (EIB), through which influences the German Finance Ministry.

The development of new reactor technologies, the European Commission wants to step up the pace. Among other things, the construction is to be driven by flexible mini-nuclear reactors. No later than 2030, be in use such reactors in Europe.

Insiders suspect that the EU’s plans mainly two motifs:.

  • The European Commission has set itself the goal of reducing Europe’s dependence on Russian gas
  • at the same time it has an obligation to meet its climate change targets and 2 emissions in the EU significantly. Nuclear power plants, unlike coal and gas power plants nearly CO 2 -neutral.

“Absurd nuclear plans”

have security, it is said in the strategy paper, in all activities priority. Nevertheless, research on material stress in older reactors until 2025 should be available. Analyzes this are, among other questionable cracks in the Belgian nuclear plants Tihange and Doel.

revelations of such wear and tear had made in April in Germany for excitement. The Tihange nuclear plant is located only 70 km from Aachen. Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks (SPD) Belgium at the time asked unsuccessfully to take the affected reactors initially by the network.

The Greens criticize the EU Commission plans massive. “The highly dangerous nuclear power should not receive any subsidies,” says Group Vice Oliver Krischer. “We expect Sigmar Gabriel strong words against this absurd nuclear ambitions of the EU.”

The European Commission has not answered questions from SPIEGEL ONLINE on the strategy paper to date.

In the EU, there are 131 nuclear power plants in 14 Member States, they have a capacity of about 121 gigawatts. At present in 14 countries new nuclear power plants in the planning stage.

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