The EU countries must attract about € 500 billion in investments by 2050 to ensure the construction and operation of new generation nuclear power plants (NPPs), the European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton told Le Journal du Dimanche.
Existing nuclear power plants alone will require € 50 billion in investment by 2030 and € 500 billion by 2050 for a new generation of reactors! That is, these efforts will require about € 20 billion annually, he noted. In this regard, Breton recalled that the European Commission is in favor of including the nuclear industry in the so-called green taxonomy - part of a European deal aimed at developing sustainable financing and a low-carbon economy in Europe.
Despite the lack of consensus within the EU on the inclusion of nuclear power plants in the taxonomy - some countries, including Germany, are still committed to the use of gas - the European Commissioner said, it implies an extension of the life of most of the 103 nuclear reactors operating in the EU. The development and construction of new generation reactors, including EPR (European Pressurized Reactor), will be carried out until 2045. They can be built after 2045, provided that applications for a construction permit are signed before 2045, he said.
If the principles of taxonomy are successfully harmonized within the EU, it will also cover the new generation of compact modular reactors. At the same time, it does not provide for any time limits for future installations of a new generation that produce less waste than the current ones, the European Commissioner added. He added that now in the EU, 26% of electricity is produced by nuclear power plants, but after the completion of the "green" transition by 2050, their share will be reduced to 15%.
With regard to renewable sources, this energy sector, according to Breton, will require even greater investments, up to 65 billion euros annually. Another € 45 billion per year will need to be attracted to create additional infrastructure necessary for the operation of such power plants. At the same time, the European Commissioner did not specify how long such investments would need to be made.