Phase-out countries ‘irresponsible’

19 July 2001

In a speech to the French Institute for International Relations in Paris, Palacio said: “It is not responsible to promote the abandonment of nuclear without explaining to public opinion that, beyond its risks – notably to do with the handling of waste – nuclear presents many advantages in terms of price stability, indigenous supply and carbon dioxide emissions.” De Palacio has always been an outspoken supporter of nuclear power, but the Paris speech was the strongest to date. She pointed out that the contribution by the nuclear industry to fighting global warming is often underestimated, and said that nuclear power reduces the EU’s carbon dioxide emissions by 300 million tonnes per year while supplying 35% of its electricity.

The EU Commission is currently involved in a major debate on the future of energy supply for the 15-country bloc in order to draft a range of policies aimed at tackling climate change.

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