Earlier this week, ministers from various countries throughout Eastern Europe published a joint article highlighting the need to decarbonize their economies through the use of nuclear energy. The article stated that decarbonizing the economy required swift or prompt transformations in energy consumption and production patterns in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which would require the development of low-carbon industries and the electrification of consumption.
The ministers from the countries of Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Poland, Hungary, France, Finland, Czech Republic, Croatia and Bulgaria stated that nuclear energy must be part of the solution to decrease CO2 emissions as other sources of carbon-free energy were needed in order to meet the needs of the general population both sufficiently and consistently. The group explained that nuclear energy was both innovative and safe, adding that for more than six decades, the nuclear industry in Europe had proven its safety and reliability. Currently, the European nuclear industry has more than 125 reactors in operation in 14 countries. It is one of the most regulated sectors in the world.
The ministers noted that while renewable energy did play an important role in the energy transition, nuclear energy was essential given that it already makes up nearly half of carbon-free electricity production in Europe. In the article, these officials also described the nuclear industry in Europe as a leading industry with unique technologies whose development could create almost one million highly skilled jobs. They then mentioned that as cooperation developed between member states, they’d be able to build modern reactors, including small modular reactors.
The ministers are also quoted stating that it is important that all low-carbon dioxide energy producing technologies are fairly considered and that their rights in this particular area are respected. In the article, they also call attention to the scientific analyses on the environmental effect of nuclear energy commissioned by the European Commission, which all conclude that no scientific evidence exists indicating that nuclear energy will further global warming more than other energies that have been included in the Framework of the European Taxonomy.
A technical experts group published the Taxonomy Technical Report in June 2019, which excluded nuclear energy from the list of sustainable economic activities.
The ministers assert that nuclear power is the best weapon in the fight against climate change because it is a competitive, independent, safe and clean energy source, which also provides Europeans the opportunity to ensure Europe’s energy autonomy, strengthen its environmental ambitions and continue developing an industry with high-added value.
This call to include nuclear energy among the energy forms of the future due to its green credentials is something that uranium energy extractors such as Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) would probably support since nuclear energy has the potential to ease the world into a future with net-zero carbon emissions.
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