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September 30, 2022

ROMATOM: Nuclear power to remain important component of European energy mix in 2050 outlook

Nuclear power will remain an important component of the European energy mix in the outlook of 2050, show the conclusions of the report ‘Nuclear Illustrative Programme’ (PINC), drawn up by the European Commission, according to a release from the Romanian Atomic Forum (ROMATOM).
The PINC is presented in view of preparing an okay from the European Economic and Social Committee, under Article 40 of the Euratom Treaty. Following the data sent by the member states, the PINC provides a useful photograph of the whole lifecycle of nuclear power in Europe: from the front-end of fuel fabrication, to safety upgrades and long-term operations, to the back-end of the cycle, including waste management and decommissioning. The PINC contributes to the implementation of the Energy Union strategy, by looking into relevant Member States’ investments from the perspective of safety, security of supply, diversification, technological and industrial leadership.
‘The conclusions of the document show that, in relation to 2050, this technology with low carbon emissions will remain an important component of the EU’s energy mix. At the same time, as our colleagues with FORATOM have said, we must say that the PINC does not mention the production targets of nuclear power, given that the estimates show a decrease in the nuclear capacity in the EU by 2050 – from 120 GWe, the current level, to 100 GWe,’ said Marius Gheorghiu, CEO of Elcomex IEA, the company holding the ROMATOM chairmanship.
The report shows that nuclear power is part of the energy mix in half of the EU member states. It mentions that, in this context, the Energy Union Strategy and the European Energy Security Strategy Energy show that member states should apply the highest standards of safety, security, waste management and non-proliferation, as well as diversification of nuclear fuel supply of. These elements are meant to contribute to reaching the 2030 objectives on energy and climate.
According to the PINC, with 27pct of electricity produced from nuclear power and 27pct from renewable sources, the EU is one of the four-largest economies that generate more than half of electricity without carbon emissions. In the EU, Romania is the only state with a complete nuclear cycle, and Units 1 and 2 at Cernavoda power plant provide approximately 20pct of Romania’s electricity demand. At the same time, in Romania, the role of nuclear power is significant also in environmental protection, with the two units at Cernavoda contributing to cutting carbon dioxide emissions by some 12 million tonnes of CO2 per year, which otherwise would be produced by burning fossil fuels.
‘New projects are estimated in ten member states, four reactors being already under construction in Finland, France and Slovakia. Other projects in Finland, Hungary and the UK are under licensing, while projects in other member states (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland and Romania) are under preparation. Some reactors are in the research phase (such as ALLEGRO, ALFRED, MYRRHA and ASTRID) and could advance significantly until 2050,’ the statement also reads.
The latest PINC report was released in 2007 and updated in 2008, say ROMATOM representatives

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