European Union to pass strategy paper on nuclear energy via DW

Ahead of a meeting of the EU’s Energy Commissioners, a report obtained by German media has revealed plans for the future of nuclear power in Europe. The plans run contrary to German policy.

Citing a strategy paper from EU on Tuesday, “Spiegel Online” reported that European Union (EU) plans to defend its technological dominance in the nuclear sector.

According to the document, the EU’S 28 member states should strengthen cooperation on researching, developing, financing and constructing new innovative reactors.

The paper is reportedly the basis for the European Commission’s future nuclear policy and is expected to be passed by the Energy Union Commissioners on Wednesday. The report would then be presented to the EU Parliament.

“Spiegel Online” reported that the EU plans to advance the mini-reactors, with the hope that such technology should be in use no later than 2030.

German nuclear phase-out

The plans are poles apart from Germany’s policy, however, which wants to end its use of nuclear power by 2022. As an alternative to nuclear energy, Berlin has pushed to increase renewable energy, such as wind and solar power. But a decision to shut down nuclear power following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan has also left Germany reliant on dirty and readily available coal to produce power.

The task of safely decommissioning and dismantling nuclear power stations also promises to be expensive and controversial, and will take many years. While the government and nuclear industry are keen to get on with dismantling and removing reactors soon after they are shut down, the non-governmental organization International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) has voiced concerns about the potential associated health risks.

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