German authorities has welcomed the move by the European Union (EU) to label some natural gas energy projects as ‘green’ investments but was unwavering in is opposition to a proposal to apply that to nuclear power projects.
The European country on Friday deactivated three of its last six nuclear power stations, as its continues its complete withdrawal from nuclear power that was on the running after a 2011 reactor meltdown in Fukushima, Japan.
“For the German government, natural gas is an important bridging technology on the way to greenhouse gas neutrality against the background of the phase-out of nuclear energy and coal-fired power generation,” a government spokesperson said.
“The government’s position on nuclear energy remains unchanged. The government remains convinced that nuclear power cannot be classified as sustainable.”
While nuclear power produces very low CO2 emissions, the European Commission sought expert advice on whether the fuel should be deemed green given the potential environmental impact of radioactive waste disposal.
The draft of the European Commission posted by Reuters on Saturday would henceforth label nuclear power plant investments as green on the condition that the project has a plan, funds available to prosecute it and a site to safely dispose of radioactive waste. New nuclear plants must have construction permits before the year 2045 to be certified green.
Provided they produce emissions below 270g of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt (kWh), effectively replace a polluting fossil fuel plant; receive a construction permit by December, 31, 2021, with the plan to switch to low carbon gases by the end of the year 2025, such investments in natural gas power plants would be certified green.
Countries in the European Union, in synergy with a panel of experts will have to thoroughly scrutinize the draft proposal, that is subject to change before it gets published later this month, with the policy being mired by lobbying from governments for more than a year, while the countries in the EU seem to be at variance on which kind of fuels are truly sustainable.
European Union states like the Czech Republic, Finland and France, having derived 70 percent of their power from fuel, believes nuclear power will be crucial to the phasing out of CO2-emitting coal fuel power.
Germany is not the only country opposing Nuclear power; other countries including Australia and Luxembourg also align with Germany’s anti-nuclear stance.