Today, approximately half of the countries in the EU generate nuclear energy. France has the most operable nuclear reactors, followed by Belgium and Spain. Cooperation within Europe and between Europe and third countries operates at several different levels. 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. It classified nuclear energy as “green”, which generated a backlash from environmentalists who point out the risks associated with accidents and nuclear waste. 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. With few options that offer true energy sovereignty, there is now a renewed enthusiasm for nuclear energy among politicians in Europe.
The European Commission proposes a stress test for all nuclear power plants in Europe, to demonstrate that the nuclear fleet can withstand incidents such as those in Fukushima. The European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) laid the foundations for nuclear energy in Europe in 1957.A number of countries, including those with nuclear power plants, have expanded their nuclear power generation capacity simply by upgrading existing reactors. The European Nuclear Education Network is a program that promotes educational and research collaboration across Europe. The Green Party, a partner in Germany's ruling coalition, has its roots as a defense group specifically opposed to nuclear energy, and the country was on the verge of shutting down its nuclear power when the war began.
Referring to Chernobyl, the nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine that became the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster in 1986, Zelensky made it very clear what was at stake. 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. 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. 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 that are about to be built.
It is important to take into account market failures and the need to protect against investment risks in order to create the necessary market conditions for investment in new nuclear construction projects in Europe.