Nuclear Energy Key to Europe’s Net-Zero Future

Leaders from across the European nuclear industry have published a manifesto outlining their priorities for the new European Commission. The manifesto – an initiative of the European nuclear industry trade association nucleareuropecalls on the EU to recognize nuclear energy as a crucial solution to today’s challenges: climate change, energy affordability, and supply security.

Amid climate change and geopolitical risks, the European Union (EU) is dedicated to providing secure and affordable energy. Nuclear energy, generating nearly a quarter of the EU’s electricity and representing 50% of its low-carbon power, is crucial to this mission.

The Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) recognizes nuclear power’s potential to lead the EU towards carbon neutrality, establishing a legislative framework to promote net-zero technologies. The Nuclear Alliance of EU Member States plans to increase nuclear capacity from 100 GW to 150 GW by 2050, aligning with the Net Zero Nuclear initiative launched at COP28 in November 2023, which aims to triple global nuclear capacity by 2050.

Support for nuclear energy was highlighted at the Nuclear Energy Summit in March 2024 and the launch of the European Industrial Alliance for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). The European Parliament’s Own Initiative Report on SMRs further underscores the sector’s importance.

The nuclear industry calls for an ambitious strategy to accelerate decarbonization and electrification, emphasizing nuclear energy’s role in enhancing the EU’s strategic autonomy. Key recommendations for policymakers include:

  1. Ensuring long-term policies to extend the existing nuclear fleet’s life and deploy new capacities, including large reactors, SMRs, and Advanced Modular Reactors (AMRs).
  2. Providing a level playing field for all net-zero technologies and facilitating access to financing.
  3. Supporting nuclear projects through European financial institutions and including nuclear in the EU Taxonomy for sustainable activities.
  4. Broadening access to EU funds beyond Euratom for scaling up nuclear technologies and supporting the entire fuel cycle.
  5. Doubling the Euratom Research and Training program budget and increasing synergies with other EU R&D programs.
  6. Investing in skills, workforce, and resources critical for maintaining and developing nuclear projects.

SNETP strongly supports these initiatives and is committed to assisting the industry, predominantly made up of its members, by promoting innovative solutions through collaborative R&D&I to advance the sector in Europe.

Overcoming these challenges requires close collaboration between European Institutions, Member States, and the nuclear community. The European nuclear industry is committed to fulfilling its role and turning words into actions for a sustainable future.

Read and download the full manifesto here.