Home>Industry News

Nuclear included in NZIA by European Council

(WNN) | Updated: 2023-12-12
2023-12-12 (WNN)

The European Council has adopted its position on the proposed Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA), which is intended to bolster Europe's manufacturing output in technologies needed for decarbonisation. As with the European Parliament's position, issued last month, nuclear power has been included in the list of "strategic" technologies.


(Image: European Council)

The NZIA - proposed by the European Commission in March - sets a target for Europe to produce 40% of its annual deployment needs in net-zero technologies by 2030 and to capture 25% of the global market value for these technologies. The legislation - part of the EU's Green Deal Industrial Plan and seen as a response to the USA's Inflation Reduction Act - also intends to deal with the challenges in scaling up manufacturing capacities in these technologies.

Nuclear was only partially included in the commission's proposal for NZIA. Among the 10 technologies it proposed was "advanced technologies to produce energy from nuclear processes with minimal waste from the fuel cycle, small modular reactors, and related best-in-class fuels".

In late-October, the heads of state and governments called on the European Council and the European Parliament to reach a prompt agreement on the Net-Zero Industry Act, "with a view to finalising the new bill before the end of the current legislative cycle".

The European Parliament adopted its position on the proposed law on 21 November, including nuclear fission and fusion among a list of 17 technologies covered by the legislation.

Adopting its decision on 7 December, the council said it "supports the main objectives of the Net-Zero Industry Act, but introduces several improvements, like enlarging the scope of application, clarifying the rules for permit-granting procedures, access to market and public procurement and promoting skills, research and innovation".

It added: "As compared to the commission proposal, the council position increases the list of strategic net-zero technologies from 8 to 10, by including nuclear and sustainable alternative fuels. It also makes clear that this should not affect neither a Member State's right to determine their energy mix nor the allocation of EU funds during the current multiannual budget.

"The mandate also enlarges the list of non-strategic net-zero technologies to biotech climate and energy solutions, other nuclear technologies and transformative industrial technologies for energy-intensive industries."

Under the Council position, strategic net-zero technologies will benefit from streamlined and realistic permitting procedures and from additional support to crowd-in investments while still meeting EU and international obligations.

There will now be negotiations to finalise the text in so-called 'trilogue' talks between the EU Parliament, European Council and European Commission.

"We are of course delighted with the council's decision on nuclear under the Net-Zero Industry Act," said Yves Desbazeille, Director General of European nuclear trade body Nucleareurope. "We hope that this decision will now be maintained in the final compromise between the different EU institutions during their negotiations early next year."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News