WILPF Statement Against the Inclusion of the Nuclear Power in the EU Taxonomy
Statement to the Members of the European Commission and the European Parliament
Honorable Members of the Parliament,
The Italian Section of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) supported by Disarmisti Esigenti and the European Associations of the ICAN Campaign jointly present this statement to reiterate our support to the opposition to nuclear power that the Italian population clearly expressed in the two nuclear power referendums which took place in 1987 and 2011, following the tragedies of the Chernobyl disaster and the Japanese nuclear accidents, respectively.
Nuclear power is often referred to as clean energy. Nevertheless, the risks associated with this type of energy are well documented and can be broken down into two categories, that are described in a report based on Professor Mark Jacobson’s research from Stanford University: (1) the risks affecting the ability of nuclear energy to reduce global warming and air pollution, which include delays between planning and operation, emissions contributing to global warming and outdoor air pollution, and costs and (2) the risks affecting its ability to provide energy and environmental security. This includes weapons proliferation risk, reactor meltdown risk, radioactive waste risk, mining cancer, amongst others.
Furthermore, it is relevant to consider the significant costs associated with developing nuclear projects, including insurance, waste management, and waste storage. These factors are still barely part of the discussions. However, they have already been specified in the European Commission’s technical report focusing on the “do no significant harm” aspects of nuclear energy, released in 2021. In this document, experts remark that the development and construction of a final repository for high-level waste is a long process, which can take several decades from first conception to realization.
Against the above background, we urge the European Commission to:
- Refrain from including nuclear energy as well as gas and CCS in the transition to decarbonization as these forms of energy production are unsustainable, present safety concerns, and are inviable climate solutions.
- Consider the significant costs of developing nuclear projects, including with respect to uranium mining, insurance, waste management, and waste storage. Radioactive wastes must be considered as a major concern that jeopardizes human and environmental health as underscored by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
- Recognize these alternatives of energy production as directly incompatible with the EU Taxonomy Regulation’s “do no significant harm” principle, as it was remarked in the Joint Declaration for a nuclear-free EU Taxonomy made by representatives of Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark.
We therefore ask you to do your utmost in the session that appears to be held 12 January 2021 in regard to the adoption of the complementary Delegated Act. We urge you to avoid any possible inclusion of any of the anti-ecological technologies above mentioned to be included in the list of environmentally sustainable activities, as it constitutes a significant backward movement for a truly sustainable energy transition for climate change mitigation and adaption.
We expect that your commitment contributes to a roadmap of ecological transition, social justice, and peace.
With kind regards
WILPF Italian Section
WILPF Swiss Section
WILPF Danish Section
WILPF Dutch Section
WILPF German Section
WILPF Norwegian Section
WILPF Spanish Section
WILPF Finland Section
WILPF Austrian Group