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European Commission requested to include nuclear energy in official list of environmentally sustainable electricity generation technologies

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The European nuclear industry has called on the European Commission to include nuclear energy in the EU Taxonomy on Sustainable Finance, a list of economic activities to be given policy favors for facilitating the transition to zero-carbon energy.

The European Union declares its environmental policy is aimed at climate protection and polluting emissions reduction. The established list of zero-carbon electricity generation technologies does not include nuclear energy due to anti-nuclear sentiments in some European countries. Therefore nuclear scientists are trying to right a wrong, especially given the fact that in many EU countries nuclear power plants have been operating effectively for a long time, and several countries even strengthen the "nuclear component" by constructing or intending to construct new power units as well as power plants.

One more ground for requesting was the report "Technical assessment of nuclear energy with respect to criteria of Regulation (EU) 2020/852" conducted by the Joint Research Center (JRC) which is the expert center of the European Union authorities. Experts have concluded that nuclear energy throughout its lifecycle fully meets the crucial 'do no significant harm' (DNSH) criteria defining environmentally sustainable technologies.

"The analyses did not reveal any science-based evidence that nuclear energy does more harm to human health or to the environment than other electricity production technologies," the JRC says in the report. Furthermore, the comparison of impacts of various electricity generation technologies on human health and the environment showed that the impacts of nuclear energy are mostly comparable with hydropower and the renewables.

The report is marked as 'sensitive', but this March it was published in the European media. In turn, representatives of Foratom - the European nuclear trade organization, of which Ukraine is an associate member - called on the European Commission to clarify how soon nuclear energy would be included under the Taxonomy, having recognized it as an environmentally sustainable generation technology along with renewables.

For information, nuclear energy is the largest source of low-carbon energy in the EU, last year its share was 26.7%, while hydro accounted for 12.3%, wind  - 13.3%, solar  - 4.4%.