BRUSSELS: Experts tasked with assessing whether the European Union should label nuclear power as a green investment will say that the fuel qualifies as sustainable, according to a document.

The European Commission is attempting to finish its sustainable finance taxonomy, which will decide which economic activities can be labelled as a sustainable investment in the EU, based on whether they meet strict environmental criteria.

Brussels’ expert advisers last year split over whether nuclear power deserved a green label, recognising that while it produces very low planet-warming CO2 emissions, more analysis was needed on the environmental impact of radioactive waste disposal.

The Commission asked the Joint Research Centre (JRC), its scientific expert arm, to report on the issue.

A draft of the JRC report due to be published next week, said nuclear deserves a green label.

“The analyses did not reveal any science-based evidence that nuclear energy does more harm to human health or to the environment than other electricity production technologies,” it said.

Storage of nuclear waste in deep geologic formations is deemed “appropriate and safe”, it said, citing countries including France and Finland in the advanced stages of developing such sites.

Two expert committees will scrutinise the JRC’s findings for three months, before the Commission takes a final decision.

The Commission declined to comment on the draft document.

EU countries are split over nuclear. France, Hungary and five other countries this month urged the Commission to support nuclear in policies including the taxonomy.

Other states including Austria, and some environmental groups, oppose the fuel, pointing to its hazardous waste and the delays and spiralling costs of recent projects.

“The nuclear industry is desperate for funds as nuclear power is too expensive and new projects are evaporating,” said Greenpeace EU policy adviser Silvia Pastorelli.

EU countries are also split over how the taxonomy should treat investments in natural gas.

Published in Dawn, March 28th, 2021

Opinion

Danger lurks
27 Sep 2021

Danger lurks

The colonial mindset continues to percolate.
Dance of death
Updated 27 Sep 2021

Dance of death

India is happily flirting with extermination.
Climate of change
Updated 26 Sep 2021

Climate of change

The world faces a climate emergency as the toll on people’s lives and livelihoods keeps growing.

Editorial

Phasing out coal
Updated 27 Sep 2021

Phasing out coal

Move affords Pakistan an opportunity to renegotiate its deals with Beijing to convert them into cheaper, clean energy projects.
27 Sep 2021

Poor online score

A RECENT report by Freedom House, the US-based watchdog that assesses democratic trends around the world, has placed...
27 Sep 2021

Child’s mental capacity

CONVERTING to another faith is one of the most consequential decisions an individual can make in their lifetime. It...
Updated 26 Sep 2021

Intransigent Taliban

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan has delivered an effective speech at the UN General Assembly session detailing the salient...
26 Sep 2021

Deadly misinformation

THE distinction between ‘fake’ and ‘authentic’ news is now a concept impossible to escape. In an...
26 Sep 2021

Covid arrests

THE unilateral decision taken by Karachi’s East Zone police to arrest citizens without Covid vaccination cards ...