EU plans: Federal Office against green label for nuclear power

Status: 12.01.2022 10:14 a.m.

The Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management criticizes the plans to classify nuclear power as a sustainable form of energy. The EU decision is incomprehensible. Important points have not been taken into account.

The EU wants to classify nuclear power plants as sustainable under certain conditions, so the electricity produced there should be considered climate-friendly. The Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BASE) warns against implementing these plans.

The EU Commission disregards the fact that nuclear energy is not sustainable, according to the analysis that is available to the dpa news agency. Central criteria, such as the risk of nuclear accidents or the difficulties involved in disposing of nuclear waste, are far too little taken into account in the EU assessment.

Classification is not tenable from a technical point of view

According to the EU plans, investments in new nuclear power plants should be classified as sustainable if they meet the latest standards and a concrete plan for dealing with the radioactive waste is in place. The head of BASE, Wolfram König, describes atomic energy as a high-risk technology, which also harbors the “danger of the misuse of radioactive material for terrorist and warlike purposes”. From a technical point of view, the classification of nuclear power as sustainable is not tenable.

In doing so, we are placing considerable burdens on future generations, which cannot be reconciled with the claim to intergenerational justice.

In many European countries, the liability of power plant operators is severely limited. According to the Federal Office, the liability sums would not be sufficient for serious accidents with significant radioactivity leakage. The argument that nuclear power plants emit hardly any gases that are harmful to the climate is also insufficient. Only the operation of the power plants is considered in the climate balance, but not dismantling or uranium extraction, which certainly lead to the emission of greenhouse gases.

Discussion about a “green” classification of nuclear power

Stephan Stuchlik, ARD Berlin, daily news 8 p.m., 9.1.2022

Plans are also controversial in other EU countries

The classification is also controversial in other EU countries. Nevertheless, it is considered likely that the EU Commission’s proposal will be accepted – because too few member states have so far spoken out against the classification of nuclear power as sustainable. Germany itself is divided on the question, since in addition to nuclear power plants, gas-fired power plants are also to be classified as sustainable.

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