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EU experts note nuclear power qualifies for green investment label: document
EU experts note nuclear power qualifies for green investment label
Published: Mar 28, 2021 07:23 PM
Experts tasked with assessing whether the European Union should label nuclear power as a green investment will say that the fuel has been qualified as sustainable, according to a document reviewed by Reuters.

President of the European Council Charles Michel (2nd L) and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (L) arrive to hold a joint press conference after EU Leaders' Summit in Brussels, Belgium on March 25, 2021. Photo: VCG

President of the European Council Charles Michel (2nd L) and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (L) arrive to hold a joint press conference after EU Leaders' Summit in Brussels, Belgium on March 25, 2021. Photo: VCG

The European Commission is attempting to finish its sustainable finance taxonomy, which will decide which economic activities can be labeled as a sustainable investment in the EU, based on whether they meet strict environmental criteria. In 2020, Brussels' expert advisors split over whether nuclear power deserved a green label, recognizing that while it produces very low planet-warming CO2 emissions, more analysis was needed on the environmental impact of radioactive waste disposal.

The Commission asked the Joint Research Centre (JRC), its scientific expert arm, to report on the issue. A draft of the JRC report, due to be published next week, said nuclear deserves a green label. "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," it said.

Storage of nuclear waste in deep geologic formations is deemed "appropriate and safe," it said, citing countries including France and Finland in the advanced stages of developing such sites.

Two expert committees will scrutinize the JRC's findings for three months before the Commission takes a final decision. EU countries are split over nuclear. France, Hungary and five other countries urged in March the Commission to support nuclear in policies including the taxonomy. Other states oppose the fuel.

"The nuclear industry is desperate for funds as nuclear power is too expensive and new projects are evaporating," said Greenpeace EU policy adviser Silvia Pastorelli.
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