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Europe nuclear plants ‘need 500 bn euro investment by 2050’: EU commissioner

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Europe nuclear plants ‘need 500 bn euro investment by 2050’: EU commissioner

The European Union will have to invest 500 billion euros ($ 568 billion) in next-generation nuclear power plants from now until 2050, the bloc’s internal market commissioner said in an interview published over the weekend.

“Only the existing nuclear power plants will need 50,000 million euros of investment from now until 2030. And the new generation will need 500,000 million!” Thierry Breton told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

Breton also argued that an EU plan to label nuclear power and natural gas energy as “green” investment sources was a vital step in attracting that capital.

The EU is consulting its member states on that proposal, with internal disagreement on whether energy sources really qualify as sustainable options.

France has led the campaign to include nuclear power, its main energy supply, despite strong opposition from Austria and skepticism from Germany, which is in the process of shutting down all its nuclear plants.

The proposal says that the EU Commission “considers that natural gas and nuclear power can play a role as a means of facilitating the transition to a predominantly renewable energy future.”

Currently, the bloc gets 26 percent of its energy from nuclear power, but Breton estimated that by 2050, that would drop to around 15 percent.

The proposal also establishes that, for nuclear energy, appropriate measures should be established for the management and disposal of radioactive waste.

And it requires that the construction of new nuclear plants be conditional on permits granted before 2045, while works to expand the operation of existing plants should be authorized before 2040.

Source Credit: TheGuardian

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