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Energy crisis has prompted 10 EU member states to declare the need for nuclear power developing

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11.10.2021

Government representatives from 10 EU countries wrote a joint article on the importance of developing nuclear power. They linked it to gas price volatility and the fight against climate change.

The article was published by Le Figaro and signed by the Minister of Economy, Finance and Reconstruction of France Bruno Le Maire, as well as energy and economy ministers from Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Croatia and Czech Republic.

«Rising energy prices indicate how important it is for us to reduce our energy dependence on foreign countries as soon as possible. It is obvious that tensions with energy supplies will become more frequent in the future,» the article reads. Its authors believe that the EU should diversify its sources of supply.

Government representatives from 10 EU countries believe that nuclear power will be able to protect European consumers from energy price volatility. The situation with gas prices is given as an example. Furthermore, the authors believe that nuclear power is the «best weapon» in the fight against climate change. 

In turn, the International Energy Agency has stated the global reactor capacity would need to increase threefold by 2050 to meet global net-zero emission targets. This was emphasized by IEA head Fatih Birol, speaking at the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy and Climate Cooperation’s (P-TECC’s) third ministerial conference in Warsaw.

According to him, while renewables comprised more than 90% of new installed power capacity globally over the last two years, the integration of intermittent generation poses some problems. Thus, due to the reduction of the share of nuclear power generation in Europe from 20% to 5%, an imbalance has arisen, which may affect energy security in general.

«If nuclear goes down, how are we in Europe going to balance the markets, secure electricity, and keep energy prices at affordable levels?» Birol asked. He added that, by and large, this would require the construction of 30GW of new nuclear power capacity every year.

The global energy crisis will have a significant impact on the heating season in Ukraine as well. The Minister of Energy of Ukraine Herman Halushchenko said this in the Verkhovna Rada, reporting on the measures taken by the government to ensure a stable and secure energy supply and protect the public from tariff fluctuations.

«With the rapid growth of hydrocarbon prices and its total deficit during this heating season, we rely on nuclear generation.» – stated Mr. Halushchenko «We have optimized the NPP repair campaign, which is why NNEGC Energoatom has to operate at a record capacity – with 14 out of the 15 existing power units. Compared to the previous heating season, the expected volume of NPP production will increase by 12%.»

Energoatom is also taking decisive steps towards further development of nuclear capacity in Ukraine. NNEGC signed a memorandum with the US Westinghouse electric on the joint construction of a new power unit at the Khmelnytskyy NPP as a pilot project, followed by four new power units at the sites of other domestic nuclear power plants.

Pre-construction activities using US AR1000 technology are underway at KhNPP. Moreover, experts are thoroughly studying potentially appropriate sites where new nuclear power plants can be built.