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2017/0312(NLE) - 12/07/2018 Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy adopted the report by Rebecca HARMS (Greens/EFA, DE) on the proposal for a Council regulation on the Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (2019-2020) complementing the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

The committee recommended that the European Parliament approve the Commission proposal subject to the following amendments:

Objectives of the programme: Members considered that the programme should contribute in particular to the safe, efficient and long-term decarbonisation of the energy system. Its specific objectives should be as follows:

  • supporting safety of nuclear systems, inter alia by means of structural cross-border inspections in the case of nuclear facilities in the vicinity of one or more national borders with other Member States;
  • contributing to cooperation at EU level and with third countries in the identification and development of safe, long-term solutions for the management of ultimate nuclear waste, including final geological disposal as well as partitioning and transmutation;
  • improving nuclear safety including: nuclear reactor and fuel safety, waste management  to prevent any undesirable impacts on man or the environment;
  • improving nuclear security including: nuclear safeguards, non-proliferation, combating illicit trafficking, and nuclear forensics, the disposal of source materials and radioactive waste, countering cyber-attacks and reducing the risks of terrorism on nuclear power plants as well as structural cross-border inspections in the case of nuclear facilities in the vicinity of one or more national borders with other EU Member States;
  • promoting long-term professional training to reflect permanent developments made possible by new technologies.

The Euratom programme should also contribute to the attractiveness of the research professions in the Union and help encourage young people to become involved in research in this field.

The adequate participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the programme, including emerging new innovative actors in the relevant research area and the private sector in general, should be ensured.

Nuclear energy: the report stressed that nuclear energy makes an important contribution to combating climate change and reducing Europe's dependence on imported energy. In the context of finding a sustainable energy-mix for the future, the Euratom Programme will also contribute through its research activities to maintaining the technological advantages of nuclear fission energy for a low-carbon economy.