Plan to extend Euratom loans under attack

Friends of the Earth urges abolition claiming money wrongly going to new plants, not safety upgrades

Green group Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) has attacked the EU's nuclear energy lending programme as the European Commission prepares to discuss expanding its financial ceiling by a reported €2bn. The Euratom loan facility is simply supporting new nuclear capacity in eastern Europe, alleges FoEE, and doing nothing to advance its stated aim of improving nuclear safety in the region.

Originally intended for EU member states only, the loan facility under the Euratom treaty was extended to cover eastern European countries in 1994. The council decision authorising the change specified that loans should be made for "improving the degree of safety and efficiency of nuclear power stations" in Russia and nine other eastern European countries operating Soviet-era nuclear plants.

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