Foratom calls on EU to recognise nuclear as a strategic industry

11 March 2020

Foratom, the European nuclear trade body, has welcomed the ambitions outlined in the European Commission's Industrial Strategy, which was published yesterday. The strategy is part of European Commission President Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen's political guidelines and responds to a request from the European Council in March 2019.

European Commission President Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen (Image:

One of the main challenges the Strategy highlights is ensuring that Europe's industry has access to a secure supply of clean energy at a competitive price.

"Nuclear energy can contribute to making this a reality," Foratom director general Yves Desbazeille said today. "Not only is it low-carbon, it is also flexible, dispatchable and cost-effective."

He added: "It is also important to bear in mind that the European nuclear industry provides not only electricity, but also medical isotopes and other applications for industry and agriculture. In light of this, we firmly believe that the nuclear sector should be recognised as a strategic European industry."

Foratom highlighted four ways in which nuclear energy can help with the Stragey's ambitions:

  • Maintain the competitiveness of Europe’s industry as energy often accounts for a significant share of manufacturing costs;
  • Decarbonise industry and thus contribute towards the 2050 carbon neutrality target;
  • Provide industry with the energy it needs when it needs it, which is particularly important for processes which run 24/7; and,
  • Other industries by offering alternative sources of decarbonised energy such as hydrogen and heat (sector coupling).

 The European nuclear industry sustains around 1 million jobs in the European Union and generates around EUR50 billion in GDP.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News