nuclear power plant in sunrise

Nuclear power is
CO2 free energy

Volt is serious about the Climate Crisis

Energy policy is an international issue and Volt is pro-nuclear in Europe and Denmark

This requires 3 things for us to achieve in Denmark:

  1. To remove our 1985 law, prohibiting making nuclear power part of Danish energy plans - read the Danish Parliament notices Folketidende;
  2. To update our energy grid to enable nuclear power to stabilise the grid while continue to use weather dependent energy, like wind and solar:
  3. To have a new conversation about energy in Denmark, which includes nuclear power as a natural part of Denmark's and Europe's green future.

With Volt in Parliament, you know what you're getting - not just in Denmark, but across Europe. Energy policies and tackling climate change requires broad cooperation, not just across the aisle but across borders. That's what Volt delivers!

Give us your endorsement now and help get us on the ballot - and share this page with your friends!

Energy policy is a pan-European issue

Energy policy is not a national issue when Germany pays Danish wind turbine owners to shut down wind turbines because the German energy grid can't take it anymore.

Energy policy is not a national issue when we are connected to a European energy grid and we import and export energy from several countries every day - see Electricitymaps

Energy policy is not a national issue because climate change does not stop at the Danish border fences.

That is why we need Volt in Danish politics.

Not only are we pro-nuclear, we have a European network of progressive voices to ensure that our ideas for change and development do not stop in parliament.

For the first time, we in Denmark can have a party that looks beyond our own borders with the ability to influence policy in neighbouring countries directly because we stand for the same thing across Europe.

Here is exerpts from our Pan European energy policy on nuclear power (pp. 13-17)

Nuclear power is a low carbon energy source - low carbon and low land use. It takes up little space and delivers electricity with zero CO2 emissions. Nuclear power is therefore an important technology for achieving climate neutrality in Europe[1]

Volt want to limit global climate change to 1.5° Celsius and keep to the Paris Accord.
A responsible policy balances costs, risks and needs which is why Volt has concluded that we need nuclear power in our energy mix as well as more investment in research and development.

The scientific community agrees that the inclusion of nuclear, hydro or geothermal energy is expected to reduce the overall system costs of a fully decarbonised energy portfolio [2]. Nuclear energy also has low operating, maintenance and fuel costs.

Conversely, nuclear power requires high initial capital costs, which are sensitive to increases in capital costs and project delays [3].Decommissioning and waste disposal also require significant investment[4]. Finally, liability regimes for accidents are limited.

Considering these complexities, Volt makes a specific proposal to exploit the full potential of nuclear power and to achieve this goal, Volt proposes clear EU-wide guidelines for the development, construction and operation of all types of nuclear reactors.

These guidelines require Member States to ensure the continued operation of existing nuclear reactors (this includes Germany) and to strengthen investment in research and development of new forms of nuclear fission and fusion technology to reduce waste levels and promote new nuclear reactors.

Volt will ensure the safest and best use of nuclear power to (i) support and stabilise electricity grids, (ii) enable alternative uses of nuclear power for industrial and research purposes where appropriate and necessary, and (iii) continue to pursue our ultimate goal of achieving a sustainable energy supply.

Here are our points for further development and use of new nuclear technologies:

➢ Promote research and support the introduction of advanced nuclear fission and nuclear technology fusion concepts, e.g. thorium cycle, molten salt, liquid metal, Gen4, fast breeder or small modular reactors as well as the use of research reactors and nuclear radioisotopes for other low-risk applications such as medicine, food sterilisation and space research.

➢ Allow reactors that are inherently safe [5] and robust to external influences, like climate change [6] as well as human threaths, like terror attacks or war.

➢ Operators to consult publicly with local authorities and citizens in the discussion of new nuclear power plant projects. Operators must provide full information on the environmental and economic benefits and risks, and organise open public forums for exchange between operators, citizens and local councillors (Aarhus Convention) , strengthening the legal rights of European citizens in the vicinity of power plants. Economic participation and compensation must apply to all citizens on an equal basis on the basis of the area of impact, regardless of the country in which they live.

➢ Ensure that by-products of energy production are recycled and reused where possible or otherwise placed in secure long-term storage.

Denmark is already studying possibilities for depositing waste

➢Ensure the proven availability of a suitable long-term nuclear waste storage facility, taking into account the rate of waste generation and storage conditions, as well as the risk landscape (including, but not limited to, geological and geopolitical factors). All possible mitigations should be employed to minimise risks of accidental contamination to acceptable or marginal levels that would be equivalent to average background radiation levels. Risk assessments should be provided by independent third parties.

➢ Mandatory liability insurance to cover the true costs of accidents within the whole chain of nuclear power (cradle to grave), including radioactive waste and waste management. We believe that all individual insurance policies have to cover the risk of nuclear power accidents while ensuring that the financial burden of accidents is not externalised to taxpayers and society. Any energy supply utility should internalise the full risk costs of accidents [7].

The scale of the energy transition challenge means that existing nuclear reactors can also be a major contributor to achieving the desired timeline for reaching carbon neutrality.
As a result, the following derogations apply to existing nuclear reactors that are unable to meet the aforementioned requirements:

➢ Allow the build and operation of already approved reactors under the respective agreed-upon contractual obligations.

➢ Allow existing reactors to continue operating in their current form until the agreed-upon end of their lifecycle. At this time, the reactors must either be decommissioned, refurbished, or integrated into a new cycle environment to achieve the technological development as mentioned above, to produce lower and shorter-lived levels of radioactive waste, and to have inherent safety.
Runtime extensions for current-generation nuclear reactors (which produce comparatively high levels of waste with long half-lives) will be prohibited once either i) next-generation nuclear technologies with significantly lower levels of waste are available and economically viable to operators, or ii) sustainable energy sources (such as solar or wind power) have spread widely enough to meet energy demands.

➢ Create a long-term spent fuel and waste management policy for the EU, including by reforming the Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management Directive [8]. This must include making waste producers financially and legally responsible for decommissioning, spent fuel and waste management (under the strict supervision of independent controllers and regulators), and finding,
accepting, and building an adequate location for final storage of waste materials.
Coordination between Member States and waste producers is essential as a final storage facility has minimal marginal costs for increased material.

➢ Promote the adoption of closed-fuel cycle options to reduce the volume and duration of radioactive waste and promote the production of fully sustainable waste management systems.

➢ Ensure that runtime extensions are permitted only if: (1) all safety regulations valid at the time of the decision are met; (2) long-term operations are performed at the full cost of the operator[9] and (3) the latest level of technological advancements at the time of the evaluation are achieved; (4) needed to ensure climate neutrality;

➢ Allow for earlier decommission of nuclear reactors based on the principle of subsidiarity, for instance when the population closer to the nuclear reactors is in favour of a complete nuclear exit, under all considerations of political, environmental, climate, and economic consequences as Europe moves to achieve climate neutrality.

➢ Decommission or require repairs/refurbishments to nuclear reactors whenever the established safety protocols are not met or the planned end of their lifecycle is reached [10] [11]

Sources

[1] Nuclear energy has one of the lowest life cycle CO2 emissions, together with wind energy and other renewable energy sources (page, 1335). Change, C. (2007). Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change. Available at: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/ch11s11-es.html.

[2] Sepulveda, N. A., Jenkins, J. D., de Sisternes, F. J., & Lester, R. K. (2018). The role of firm low-carbon electricity resources in deep decarbonization of power generation. Joule, 2(11), 2403-2420.

[3] Gamboa Palacios, S. S., & Jansen, J. J. (2018). Nuclear energy economics: An update to fact finding nuclear energy (No. TNO 2018 P11577). TNO

[4] European Commission. (2016). Nuclear Illustrative Programme Presented under Article 40 of the Euratom Treaty for the Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee. Available at:
https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/1_EN_autre_document_travail_service_part1_v10.pdf

[5] Safety related terms for advanced nuclear plants". Directory of National Competent Authorities' Approval Certificates for Package Design, Special Form Material and Shipment of Radioactive Material. Vienna, Austria: International Atomic Energy Agency: 1–20. September 1991. ISSN 1011-4289. IAEA-TECDOC-626

[6] Kromp-Kolb, H., Muellner, N., Kim, D., Holy, J., Syri, S., Caneill, J. Y., ... & Obreja, C. (2021). Climate Change: Assessment of the Vulnerability of Nuclear Power Plants and Approaches for their Adaptation (No. NEA--7207). Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Available at: https://www.oecd-nea.org/jcms/pl_61802/climate-change-assessment-of-the-vulnerability-of-nuclear-power-plants-and-approaches-for-their-adaptation?

[7] Pearce, J. M. (2012). Limitations of nuclear power as a sustainable energy source. Sustainability, 4(6), 1173-1187

[8] the European Commission’s policy on radioactive waste and spent fuel is available at:
https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/nuclear-energy/radioactive-waste-and-spent-fuel

[9] Duchac, A., Bruynooghe, C., & Martin, O. (2011). Operation of Ageing Reactors: Approaches and associated Research in the European Union. Available at:
https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC68051/reqno_jrc68051_pdf%20version%5B1%5D.pdf

[10] OECD-NEA, 2016. Costs of decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants.
https://www.oecd-nea.org/jcms/pl_14910/costs-of-decommissioning-nuclear-power-plants?details=true

[11] Suh, Y. A., Hornibrook, C., & Yim, M. S. (2018). Decisions on nuclear decommissioning strategies: Historical review. Progress in Nuclear Energy, 106, 34-43