Breakfast briefing: Making New Nuclear Happen in Europe (16 Feb 2018)

On the 16th of February, New Nuclear Watch Europe held a Breakfast Briefing, in partnership with Eversheds-Sutherland, on: ‘What conditions and set of policies are needed to make new nuclear happen in Europe?

Watch the event here: here


Tim yeo, Chairman, NNWE

Robert Pitcher, Partner and Joint Head of Energy & Infrastructure (International), Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Kirsty Gogan, Co-Founder, Energy for Humanity


With the Paris Agreement signalling a step-change in the fight against climate change, the role of nuclear energy has been consistently recognised as one of the key solutions to decreasing emission levels and ensuring security of supply. The latest EU PINC report highlights that 105GWe of new nuclear generation will be needed by 2050 – roughly 100 new plants. With 50% of European reactors due to come offline, or to require lifetime extensions beyond 60 years of operation by 2050, and only 18 NPPs currently in development, planned, or proposed within the EU-28 to replace them, urgent action is needed if the EU is to meet its global climate change commitments.

Across wider Europe, the story is slightly more positive. Over 95 reactors are planned or proposed – including in Belarus, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK post-2019. However, the EU is coming under increased pressure from powerful anti-nuclear member states within its borders, at the same time as it loses one of the leading pro-nuclear states, the UK. This will make it harder for the industry to help Europe strengthen energy security and continue cutting carbon emissions.


This morning briefing will discuss the policy priorities needed to kick-start nuclear development in Europe by addressing the following questions:

  1. What are the current global trends in nuclear new build?
  2. The apparent shift in nuclear development from Western Europe.
  3. How can the obstacles which currently make it hard for nuclear plants to be built be reduced?
  4. A key challenge in new build developments has been the cost of finance. What finance models exist which are proven to reduce the overall impact on consumer bills?