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Finland and Sweden express their concerns on Taxonomy’s proposed technical screening criteria for nuclear power to the Commission

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 1.2.2022 14.57
Press release
Loviisan ydinvoimala veden takaa kuvattuna
Photo: Fortum

Finland and Sweden have sent a letter to Mairead McGuinness, EU Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and the Capital Markets Union, in which they express their concerns about the proposed technical screening criteria for nuclear power in the draft complementary delegated act of the EU Taxonomy Regulation. The College of Commissioners is expected to publish the final delegated act this week.

Finland and Sweden remind the Commission that they are strong supporters of ambitious climate action and consider sustainable finance an essential part of their joint efforts to meet the EU’s common target for climate neutrality by 2050.

It is important to respect the principle of technological neutrality. Therefore, the countries welcome the Commission’s decision to include nuclear-related activities in the draft delegated act as a complement to activities involving renewable energy. 

However, Finland and Sweden raise three concerns related to the proposed technical screening criteria for nuclear power. 

The criteria should consider the concrete developments that have taken place in Finland and Sweden as regards the implementation of the final disposal solution for nuclear waste. “In general, the criteria should build on the Euratom treaty and its secondary legislation, and national regulations for nuclear safety and licensing of installations,” the letter says.

The deadlines for nuclear power investments proposed in the act should be removed. The Commission has proposed that existing nuclear power plants be included in the Taxonomy only until 2040 and new nuclear power plants until 2045. 

The third concern is that for existing nuclear facilities, the criteria only apply to modifying the facilities for the purpose of plant lifetime extension. It should be clarified to the criteria that the operation of existing nuclear power facilities is also in line with the Taxonomy.

In addition, the countries are also concerned about the adoption process of the delegated act. The time spent on consulting the Member States has been too short, considering the complexity and controversy of the issue. Finland and Sweden stress the importance of transparent and inclusive processes in the future work on the Taxonomy to ensure its credibility and usability.

After the publication of the final delegated act by the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament will have four months to deliberate on it and either adopt or reject it. After the final version of the act has been published, no proposed amendments to its content are possible. 

The letter was signed by Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä and Sweden’s Minister for Energy and Digital Development Khashayar Farmanbar.

Jukka Ihanus, State Secretary to Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä, tel. +358 29 504 7259
Katja Tuokko, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 465 5533 
Riku Huttunen, Director General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 431 6518

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