Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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A year after Fukushima, nuclear lobby has Brussels in its grip

Brussels, 7 March 2012 – Secret lobbying by the nuclear industry and an open door at the European Commission have kept nuclear power on the EU’s agenda, despite public concern following the disaster at Fukushima, according to a new report from Corporate Europe Observatory published today, a year after the meltdown at Fukushima in Japan [1].

The report reveals how the industry spent an estimated 20 million euros and made use of friends in the Commission and the Parliament to ensure nuclear energy remained on the agenda in Europe, at the expense of the renewables industry.

Working through the powerful lobby group Foratom, through the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform, other energy technology platforms and the Commission’s advisory groups, the nuclear industry has been keen to re-brand nuclear power as “low-carbon, competitive and secure”, warning that without nuclear, the EU could not achieve its sustainable energy goals.

Despite clear opposition to nuclear power from some member states, European Commission officials appear to have welcomed industry input and encouraged industry involvement in technology platforms, including providing funding support [2].

The lobbying effort was rewarded in December 2011 when DG Energy published the Energy Roadmap 2050 which said that “as a large scale low carbon option, nuclear energy will remain in the EU power generation mix”.

Commenting on the report, Olivier Hoedeman, CEO’s research coordinator, said:

“The Commission appears to have given privileged access to representatives from the nuclear lobby, inviting them to sit on advisory boards and technology platforms to press the case for nuclear energy, despite widespread public concern across Europe about the risks. In Brussels money talks, and the nuclear industry has spent well – sidelining the clear concerns of European citizens.”

ENDS

Notes:

[1] The full report can be read at:

http://www.corporateeurope.org/publications/nuclear-contamination-year-after-fukushima-why-does-brussels-still-back-nuclear-power

The first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster in Japan is on Sunday 11 March 2012.

[2] The Commission provided 800,000 euros in funding in 2011 for the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform, an industry-led platform which promotes EU investment in nuclear research.

 

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