Czechs and Slovaks to host nuclear energy forum

Photo: European Commission

The European Union has put energy security at the top of its agenda but there's little agreement on the future role of nuclear energy. Some EU states like the Czech Republic and Slovakia rely heavily on nuclear energy and see few alternatives. Others, like Austria, remain totally opposed to nuclear power. How to resolve the differences? Well the European Nuclear Energy Forum has been created to come up with some answers. It's being hosted by Prague and Bratislava.

Photo: European Commission
Slovakia and the Czech Republic are going to be the hosts, guarantors and main organizers of the European Nuclear Energy Forum. Slovak Economy Minister Lubomir Jahnatek explained the project.

"The core idea of this project is to create an international platform that would provide space for discussion on nuclear energy among experts. It should define a vision of how nuclear energy should look in the future. Nuclear energy is at the center of attention today, however the way it is used now, is most likely not definite".

Slovakia shares the European Nuclear Energy forum with Czech Republic. Why?

"It's the agreement between the Slovak and Czech Republic. Both countries have made a proposal to host the European Nuclear Energy Forum at the same time. We have agreed on cooperation after discussions explaining our positions. Therefore we asked Brussels to share the forum in both countries, with sessions being held alternatively in each."

Will the forum also discuss the questions of renewable energy sources and energy mix?

"Of course we will discuss things in this context too. This forum should not address only the future of nuclear energy. We want to also focus on the negative aspects of nuclear energy use in individual reactions. And of course the issue of energy mix is very important as well. It is clear that the appropriate energy mix is the most effective way of reaching the energy security and self-sufficiency of the EU member states."

Photo: European Commission
Mr. Ferran Tarradellas, the spokesperson of the EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs, reflected on the expectations that the EU Commission has of the forum.

"It is extremely important, to have the open discussion on all the elements related to nuclear energy. The nuclear energy has currently been the type of energy that lacked a necessary transparency for the public opinion to be aware of what's going on. That was also very bad for investment. Energy is an investment that is very long-term. That's why the discussions that are going to take place at this nuclear forum are very very important, to give answers to all the questions the nuclear energy has, without taboos, and make it easier for investors to know where to put their money."

The first session of the European Nuclear Energy forum in the Autumn of this year should significantly increase the level of public discussion on nuclear energy. It is hard to expect any breakthrough outcomes, but the process can launch an important process in the EU's energy policy.