The European Union is a major player in the nuclear energy industry, with approximately half of its countries generating nuclear energy. France has the most operable nuclear reactors, followed by Belgium and Spain. These countries could increase power generation from existing reactors relatively quickly because most reactors normally do not operate at full capacity. This was one of the solutions proposed by the International Energy Agency to reduce European dependence on Russian natural gas.The EU seeks to protect people from the dangers of ionizing radiation through initiatives such as the Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, IRSN), the Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) of Germany, the Rez Nuclear Research Institute (UJV) of the Czech Republic, and the Lithuanian Energy Institute (LEI).
The European Nuclear Education Network is a program that promotes educational and research collaboration across Europe.The EU also supports nuclear safety through several agencies and programs, such as the TACIS (CIS States) and PHARE (Eastern Europe, including the Baltic States) programs and various funds. The plan's transition fund money will not finance the construction of nuclear power plants, despite the fact that nuclear energy provides 50% of the EU's low-carbon electricity. But critics of the proposal argue that classifying gas and nuclear energy projects as sustainable is in itself a “greenwashing” and goes against European efforts to reduce carbon emissions by 55 percent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, while increasing the risks of nuclear accidents.Cooperation within Europe and between Europe and third countries operates at several different levels. The EC recommended that the Euratom Supply Agency be responsible for ensuring a diverse supply of nuclear fuel, both for the current fleet of EU nuclear power plants and those nearing construction.
It also allows students to earn credits in a nuclear discipline outside their host country to obtain the additional qualification of the European Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. However, continuing concerns following the Chernobyl accident over two types of Russian nuclear reactors in Eastern Europe led the EU to demand their closure as part of EU accession negotiations with host countries.EU industry association Foratom said the directive reinforces the role and independence of Europe's national regulators and supports agreed safety objectives for nuclear power plants, in line with recommendations from the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA). The Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA) is a network of core regulators from EU countries with nuclear power plants and Switzerland, with members from 17 countries. Countries against the expansion of nuclear energy, including Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal, have expressed concern about the disposal of nuclear waste and the risks of an accident.The Euratom Treaty provided a stable legal framework that fostered the growth and development of the nuclear industry, while increasing the security of fuel supply for the nuclear industry and the safety of nuclear power plants.
It covers all civil nuclear activities in the European Union and aims to provide a common market for nuclear materials, ensure the supply of nuclear fuel and ensure that nuclear materials do not deviate from their intended purpose.The European Commission is ready to decide later this year whether to classify nuclear energy as a clean energy source; if it does, it could boost investment in nuclear energy across the region. This decision will be based on an assessment of both its benefits and risks. On one hand, it could provide a reliable source of low-carbon electricity; on the other hand, it could increase safety risks due to potential accidents or radioactive waste disposal issues.In conclusion, while there are many potential benefits to using nuclear energy in Europe, there are also many risks that must be taken into consideration before making any decisions. It is important for all stakeholders to weigh these risks carefully before making any decisions about expanding or investing in this type of energy.