EU council discusses future of nuclear power on continent

The European Council discussed the future of nuclear power on the continent Thursday in Belgium.
The European Council discussed the future of nuclear power on the continent Thursday in Belgium. | Courtesy of

The European Union considers nuclear energy to be the future of energy for the continent, as stated during the first formal discussion by the European Council about the European Commission’s Energy Union Strategic Framework on Thursday in Brussels, Belgium.

Westinghouse Electric Company was excited about the discussion, but company officials said the EU must discuss Europe's energy strengths, including nuclear facilities.

Both Westinghouse and Europe’s nuclear energy industry want to contribute to the energy and climate objectives that the EU has set forth.

The EU seeks to reduce its dependency on external energy. Doing so requires that the continent diversify its nuclear energy capacities. As of today, Finland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic use Russian VVER-type reactors (14 VVER-440-type reactors and 4 VVER-1000-type reactors) for their energy. These countries are 100 percent dependent on Russia for their fuel supplies.

Alternative producers of the same energy already exist within the EU. Manufacturers of VVER-type reactors (including Westinghouse) are located within the EU.

“Any debate on Europe’s energy and climate future must include a safe energy source that provides nearly 30 percent of the EU’s domestic energy production, produces no CO2 emissions, is used in 14 member states and is based on a world-leading industrial base,” Yves Brachet, Westinghouse's president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said. “This is the way forward to successfully achieve a low-carbon, competitive and energy-secure system.”

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