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Let the fox guard the henhouse

Nuclear energy in Europe is on the defensive, but the European network of the nuclear lobby works perfectly. This is shown by the current discussion on the European Green Deal, in particular the question of whether nuclear power is a sustainable energy and therefore how solar energy should be promoted or not.

Specifically, it is the taxonomy regulation, adopted by the European Parliament and the European Council in June 2020. It includes the following six environmental objectives: “Climate protection, adaptation to climate change, sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources, transition to a circular economy, prevention and reduction of pollution, and protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.”

Of all places, the headquarters of the EU nuclear lobby should clarify

The" Technical Group of Experts on Sustainable Finance", which advises the EU Commission on climate issues, has examined whether nuclear energy meets the environmental objectives of the Taxonomy Regulation on its behalf. In its report (p.234/35), the expert group states, among other things, that “nowhere in the world does there exist a workable, safe and long-term underground repository”. Therefore, it made no recommendation for nuclear energy and demanded further clarification.

The EU Commission commissioned the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European headquarters for the promotion of nuclear energy, to carry out these investigations. In plain language: She turned the Atom-Bock into an environmental gardener.

The Joint Research Centre was founded in the late 1950s together with the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). Among other things, the JRC is responsible for the distribution of part of the Euratom funds and also conducts nuclear research itself. According to the Euratom Plan, the JRC is expected to contribute around one billion Swiss francs to the promotion of nuclear energy between 2021 and 2027.

Headwinds from Germany, Austria and Luxembourg

In a letter to the EU Commission, the Green member of the Bundestag Sylvia Kotting-Uhl urgently demanded an “independent assessment”, because the Joint Research Centre, as a Euratom control centre, was “biased and in no case in a position to make an objective decision here”. Nuclear energy does not meet any of the six environmental objectives of the Taxonomy Regulation because of the unresolved problems (radioactive waste, reprocessing, deconstruction).

In its reply, the EU Commission maintained its mandate to the JRC and envisaged the examination of the JRC report by two other expert groups.

A stiff headwind is blowing towards the European greenwashers of nuclear energy from Austria. The Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Technology and Innovation commissioned a study which concluded that nuclear energy “as an energy source is not renewable and cannot contribute to the achievement of the climate targets, which is why it must be rejected and should not be part of the energy mix of the future”. Nuclear energy “does not meet all the environmental objectives mentioned in the taxonomy”. Austria gets support from Luxembourg.

Switzerland also subsidises the Joint Research Centre

Switzerland is quite different, having already participated in the financing of the Joint Research Centre through Euratom subsidies in the past and intends to do so in the future. According to the embassy of the Federal Council, Switzerland is to pay a total of 412 million francs into the Euratom pot over the next seven years, of which around 50 million francs will go to the JRC. This amounts to around seven million Swiss francs per year.

The nuclear network of the Joint Research Centre also includes the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). The cooperation with the JRC in research for future nuclear reactors has worked out excellently for decades. For example, in Samos afer project, where even the temporary Supreme atom of supervisors of the Switzerland on the Advisory Board of sass – with the blessing of the Federal Council.

Tensioners atom price Switzerland

Despite the decided nuclear phase-out, the Federal Council is pursuing a strict nuclear course with regard to European nuclear research. In the wake of the Euratom headquarters JRC and the European nuclear lobby, the Federal Council’s message promotes climate protection through future nuclear power plants.

The Federal Council also does not want to know about a withdrawal plan from Euratom financing. In its response to the motion of the Basel SP National Council Mustafa Atici, the Federal Council is firmly convinced that “the objectives pursued by European nuclear research largely coincide with Switzerland’s priorities”.