Several EU countries are calling for nuclear energy to be recognized as “green” by the end of the year

The Prime Ministers and Ministers of Energy and Economy of France, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Croatia and the Czech Republic issued a joint statement on the importance of nuclear energy development. They consider it necessary to recognize nuclear energy as “green” before the end of the year – this could help deal with the crisis in the European energy market.

The rise in energy prices shows how important it is to reduce our dependence on energy in foreign countries as quickly as possible. Tensions in the power supply will become more and more frequent. “We have no choice but to diversify our sources of supply while trying not to increase energy imports,” the joint statement said.

At the same time, the two sides believe that the use of nuclear energy does not cause significant emissions of carbon dioxide, which is important in the context of combating climate change. “It is very important to consider all low-carbon energy technologies equally,” the report says.

There is still a unit

Meanwhile, Europe is divided on this issue, Stanislav Mitrakhovich, an expert from the National Energy Security Fund and a senior researcher at the Financial University of the Government of the Russian Federation, told Gazeta.Ru.

Some European countries categorically do not accept nuclear power. For example, Germany (in 2022 the last nuclear power plants there should be closed) and Belgium. Italy has already completely abandoned peaceful atom, closed all nuclear power plants. Switzerland also opposed, but there was Messageswhich they thought of using there. But there are also European countries that already have nuclear power or would like to have it. These, in particular, are France (more than 70% in the energy balance), the Czech Republic, Finland and the Netherlands. Sweden also has a nuclear power.

If a country has a large share of the energy balance for renewables, Mitrahović says, it may not cover the base volume needed. On the other hand, nuclear energy is convenient for daily consumption: the plants operate in a regular cycle, that is, on the same day and night, every day.

When some European countries decided to abandon corn, they created a huge problem for themselves. Renewable sources are not reliable enough, industrial batteries, “green” hydrogen is still not known when it will be,

Mitrachovich says.

He added that there are prospects in nuclear energy now for those countries that have invested in it, particularly Russia.

Rosatom implements projects not only in our country, but also abroad. Mitrahović said European countries and the United States have somewhat lost their competence in this area, focusing on “green” energy.

In an interview with Gazeta.Ru, Sergei Pekin, Director of the Energy Development Fund, said that in order to develop nuclear energy, the European Union must realize that it is carbon-neutral. According to him, nuclear energy does not harm the climate as it does not emit it. In terms of safety, modern reactors that are currently being produced are of the highest category in this indicator: they cannot be compared with projects such as Chernobyl or Fukushima, says the expert. The main competitor countries that own the technologies and are engaged in the construction of stations are now Russia, the USA, France and China.

However, no one will focus on nuclear power, Peking asserts.

In Europe, in particular, there is talk of preserving at least what we have – this type of energy will not be widely distributed. In addition, in order to change the situation in principle, the interview we will European politics.

Why don’t they turn to Russia for corn

European countries are unlikely to order turnkey facilities from Russia or ask for a partial partnership in the construction of nuclear power plants, says Vasily Koltachov, head of the Center for Political Economic Studies at the Institute for a New Society. He added that the exception may only be some Eastern European countries, such as Hungary, that rely mainly on their economic interests. “However, such countries do not yet dominate Europe,” Koltachov stressed.

At the same time, France will continue to adhere to the policy of nuclear electrification, he believes. As for Germany, according to Koltashov, this is an open question now, but most likely, they will follow the path of increasing supplies from Gazprom and increasing gas consumption.

At the same time, the expert noted that the construction of nuclear facilities is “extremely difficult”, and to a large extent this is a “political act”.

“It is very difficult to build many plants, because it is a difficult technological process. Rosatom itself has always had agreements on construction more than on things in operation. And this is logical: you can not take and sharply increase the production of nuclear power plants, ”said Koltachov.

What projects does Rosatom participate in?

Rosatom ranks first in the world in terms of orders to build nuclear power plants, according to website state companies. It represents 17% of the global market for nuclear fuel production. Currently, there are 35 power units in 12 countries in various stages of preparation, including Turkey (Akkuyu NPP), Belarus (Belarusian NPP), India (Kudankulam NPP), Hungary (Paks-2 NPP), Bangladesh (NPP Rooppur), China (Xudapu NPP, Tianwan NPP), Finland (Hanhikivi-1 NPP), Egypt (El Dabaa NPP). Three new power units are being built in Russia (Kursk NPP-2 and BREST-OD-300 projects).

At the same time, Rosatom has recently had problems in the world market. In April 2021 Fired From a tender for the construction of a new power unit at the Dukovani nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic, its cost was estimated at about 6 billion euros. The reason for this event was an explosion at the Czech ammunition depot in 2014, in which the Czech authorities suspect the involvement of Russian special services (Moscow categorically denies these accusations). Prior to this, the China General Nuclear Power Corporation of China had been refused participation in the bid.

Rosatom’s competitors face their own challenges, says Stanislav Mitrakhovich of the National Energy Security Fund. For example, France is building facilities in its own country, but it has a weak position in the world market, although it has had projects in China in the past. He also noted that Finland’s nuclear project has also been delayed. Pyhäjoki plans to build the Hanhikivi Nuclear Power Plant. The project involves the construction of a 1.2 gigawatt power unit using Russian technology. The customer is the Finnish company Fennovoima Oy. It was planned to get a building permit back in 2017, but now the deadlines Delayed for the first half of 2022.

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