World Nuclear Association calls on European Commission to create path for nuclear in the Taxonomy following JRC report

For immediate release: 29 March 2021

Reacting to the findings of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre’s (“JRC”) scientific assessment [1] on whether nuclear energy meets the “do no significant harm” criterion of the proposed Sustainable Finance Taxonomy, Dr Sama Bilbao y León, Director General of World Nuclear Association, said: 

The JRC report is clear in its conclusions. There are no scientific arguments supporting an exclusion of nuclear energy from the Sustainable Finance Taxonomy.” 

The JRC, which provides independent scientific advice and support to EU policy, was tasked by the Commission in 2020 to evaluate whether nuclear power is a low-carbon and sustainable source of electricity, and therefore could be included in the Taxonomy. The report was leaked to the press on Friday.  

Addressing the next steps that need to be taken, Dr Bilbao y León commented: 

It is of utmost importance that the technical screening criteria used by the Sustainable Finance Taxonomy are based on the latest science, are technology-neutral, and are applied consistently to all economic activities in a given sector.

The JRC report should be reviewed with due urgency by the two remaining expert groups. In the meanwhile, we call on the Commission not to delay in setting out the process and the timeline for the inclusion of nuclear energy within the Taxonomy, to safeguard the transparency of the process.

We are facing the dual challenge of economic recovery following the pandemic, and climate change. Enough time has been spent procrastinating. Nuclear energy, the single-largest low-carbon electricity source in the EU, has already played a major role in terms providing reliable cost-effective 24/7  sustainable electricity for the last 40+ years, and it will be crucial in building a sustainable tomorrow.


[1] The JRC has taken a rigorous scientific approach in this report, by performing a full life cycle assessment (LCA) of nuclear energy using ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 international standards LCA, comparing its impacts with those of other electricity generating technologies, and finally applying the criteria specified by article 17 of the Taxonomy Regulation.

World Nuclear Association is the international organisation that represents the global nuclear industry. Its mission is to promote a wider understanding of nuclear energy among key international influencers by producing authoritative information, developing common industry positions, and contributing to the energy debate, as well as to pave the way for expanding nuclear business.

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