V4 countries reiterate support for nuclear

19 November 2021

Ministers from Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland (the Visegrad 4) met in Paks and agreed: ""Without nuclear power it will not be possible to achieve the goals of climate neutrality." They called on the European Commission to approve its inclusion in the taxonomy of sustainable investments.

Governments of the V4 group say they are committed to nuclear energy (Image: Paks II)

Hosting the meeting near the Paks nuclear power plant, which provides 48% of Hungary's electricity, the country's minister responsible for expanding Paks, János Süli, led a conversation on energy sovereignty and security.

The Visegrad 4 "are committed to the use of nuclear energy, as nuclear power plants help to achieve the European Union's goal of climate neutrality while strengthening security of supply and providing clean electricity at affordable prices," said the Paks II project company.

"With my colleagues, we agreed that without nuclear power it will not be possible to achieve the goals of climate neutrality," stressed the Slovakian Minister of Economy, Karol Galek.

Süli and Galek were joined by Adam Guibourgé-Czetwertyński, the Polish Undersecretary of State for Energy and Tomáš Ehler, the Czech Republic's Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade for Nuclear Energy.

The four signed a statement on the importance of nuclear energy in terms of climate neutrality, but also in terms of the EU Taxonomy and the sustainable investment as well as security of supply. They stressed the "sovereign right" of EU member states to determine their own energy mix, noting that it is based on the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union. The Czech government said that "technology neutrality is a pre-requisite for energy transformation in line with decarbonisation commitments by 2050."

The group said that, "the EU needs to create a supportive and transparent framework for investment in all technologies capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including nuclear energy." They also support the use of gas to enable a faster transition from coal.

Ehler said: "The joint statement of the energy ministers is a clear signal to the EU that the V4 countries are counting on the development of nuclear energy in order to achieve the decarbonisation goals while ensuring energy security and self-sufficiency. It is also a clear statement that a level playing field is needed for all low-carbon energy sources, especially in the area of financing."

The V4 statement is the latest declaration for, or against, nuclear energy in the European Union as the European Commission heads towards a decision on whether it can be included in its taxonomy of sustainable technologies. It is a political decision, the scientific aspect having been positively settled by a report from the Joint Research Centre in March. The V4 statement called on the European Commission to present the Delegated Act that will settle the matter "no later than by the end of November 2021 to ensure a level playing field and prevent energy market destabilisation and distortion."

Germany, Austria, Denmark, Portugal and Luxembourg stand against nuclear energy's inclusion. In favour of nuclear are the self-described 'Nuclear Alliance' that includes Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, France, Romania and Slovenia, as well as the V4 group of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News