Additional actions are needed on the level of the Member States as well as on the European level in order to ensure that adequate funds for nuclear decommissioning and waste management are available when necessary. Furthermore, transparency should be increased by information sharing and reporting. These are the results of a comprehensive assessment of the different decommissioning financing regimes in the European Union by Wuppertal Institute and its partners on behalf of the European Commission.
The European Commission estimates that approximately one third of the 145 power reactors currently operating in the European Union will need to be shut down by 2025. This will result in the need to dismantle, decontaminate and demolish these nuclear facilities as well as to undertake processing, conditioning and disposal of nuclear waste and spent fuel ("decommissioning"). Member States oversee different regimes for estimating and managing costs and for raising funding for these decommissioning activities, and there are significant differences in the operation, governance, investment and accessibility of the existing funds across the EU.
A comprehensive assessment of the financial consequences and risks of the different decommissioning financing systems from governance, accounting, valuation and investment perspectives has been undertaken in the course of a study by the Wuppertal Institute and its partners on behalf of the European Commission. Furthermore, the legal aspects of decommissioning financing in the EU have been analysed.
Based on this, a number of recommendations are made on how to ensure that adequate funds are available when necessary. These recommendations are made to Member States and to actions that could be undertaken now on the European level. Furthermore, the report makes suggestions on how further harmonization of decommissioning financing could be achieved on the EU level if necessary. Along with these recommendations are suggestions for information sharing and reporting that should be undertaken across the EU to increase transparency.