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EU Says Nuclear Energy Is Clean After All

Nuclear power is indeed a strategic net-zero technology that the European Union should endorse on the bloc's way toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, EU member governments agreed on Thursday.

27 EU member ministers agreed at a meeting this week that nuclear power-and sustainable alternative fuels that include e-fuels-should be included in the list of acceptable strategic technologies. The council's position on the matter was announced on Thursday and was made to allow EU industry to compete with Chinese and U.S. competitors in its aim to achieve climate neutrality and facilitate the energy transition. 

The decision-part of the Net-Zero Industry Act--was a controversial one, with some EU members shunning nuclear power, and e-fuels going against an EU law that aims to put an end to sales of CO2-emitting cars starting in 2035.

The Act lays out a benchmark for achieving 40% of production to cover the European Union's needs in strategic tech products, like heat pumps, wind turbines, solar panels, and EV batteries. The Act also sets a target of at least 50 million tonnes of CO2 captured per year by 2030.

With this new position, the number of strategic net-zero technologies available to members increases from 8 to 10, and the two newcomers to the list will be subject to streamlined permitting procedures that are capped at 18 months and receive crowd-in investments, all while meeting EU and international requirements.

The Net-Zero Industry Act is the foundation of the EU's push to reduce greenhouse gases and will require public authorities conducting tenders to consider sustainability criteria when awarding contracts for net-zero and must ensure that no more than 65% of EU demand is supplied from a single source.

By Julianne Geiger for

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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group. More