A pro-nuclear campaign for the EU?

13 June 2006

The European Union (EU) Joint Research Centre (JRC) could be instructed to use some of its budget over 2007-13 to promote nuclear energy as an answer to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Under amendments approved by the European Parliament's industry, research and energy committee some of the €750 million earmarked for JRC nuclear energy work would be spent on "campaigning to make politicians and the public understand nuclear energy." This is especially because of nuclear energy's accepted role in fighting global warming, said the amendment.

The campaigns would not be small. If EU ministers and the full parliament agree, they would involve "multi-annual information campaigns" to encourage "debate [and] informed decisions."

Other changes proposed to the FP7 Euratom rules include that not less than €900 million of the €2.9 billion reserved for external nuclear fusion research grants be spent on work other than the ITER project.

Another change would insist that safety studies be prioritised in all FP7 nuclear work, especially research to prevent "human or organisational error (individual or collective)." An "appropriate safety culture" would also be encouraged, and studies on "reactor safety and severe accidents in respect of both Western and Russian types of reactor" would be a priority.

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