Brussels – In March 2020, the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG) established by the European Commission recommended excluding nuclear power from the green taxonomy, a European classification of low-carbon and transitional economic activities designed to guide investment. After intense lobbying by pro-nuclear stakeholders, the European Commission asked its Joint Research Centre (JRC) to assess the absence of significant environmental harm of nuclear power, paving the way to the sector’s reinstatement on the list of activities deemed sustainable by the European Union. 

However, the JRC’s structural links with the Euratom Treaty, its relations with the nuclear industry and the views expressed publicly by JRC members on nuclear energy call into question the JRC’s ability to conduct an objective assessment of the sustainability of nuclear energy. The European Commission should have entrusted this study to an impartial structure and included civil society.

Greenpeace EU policy adviser Silvia Pastorelli said: It’s become more and more clear that the nuclear industry cannot stand on its feet without massive funding and that is why they’re desperate for EU support, as nuclear power is too expensive and new projects are evaporating. In its report, the JRC is dangerously optimistic about the renovation of operating nuclear power plants. Independent scientists have already told the EU that the unsustainable environmental hazard of nuclear waste is enough reason to drop the technology. Rather than let a dying industry swallow up vital funding, the European Commission should back real climate action, excluding all fake green ‘solutions’ like nuclear, gas and biomass.”

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Silvia Pastorelli – Greenpeace EU policy adviser: +32 (0)496 12 20 94, [email protected] 

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, [email protected]