Sixteen states talk nuclear power

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The representatives of the 16 EU countries that have opted for nuclear energy have identified the four 'pillars' on which the EU's energy policy must be built: safety of sourcing, consumer purchasing power, industrial competitiveness and the fight against global warming.

The French Minister of Industry, Eric Besson, who initiated the first informal meeting that was held in Paris on 10 February, said it was "normal" for these countries "to exchange experiences and perhaps, in the future, to better coordinate [amongst themselves]" since nuclear power represents 28% of electricity production in Europe. Yet these countries – Spain, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, the UK, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden – have very different nuclear profiles: France generates 75% of its electricity through nuclear power, while Latvia does not have nuclear plants but imports electricity from nuclear sources.

"There are common issues at stake when it comes to energy and, by reinforcing cooperation and dialogue, we can contribute to making EU policy more efficient," Besson said after the meeting. He added that it will be necessary to respect "national choices" and that "safety in the nuclear field is not something that can be negotiated".

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