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Socio-economic issues related to nuclear technologies

Proposed action should examine the total costs of nuclear energy and make the comparison of costs for different energy technologies, taking into account the whole energy system, full lifecycle costs and sustainability criteria, i.e. internal and external costs.

The analysis of possible contribution of nuclear energy to EU climate neutrality by 2050 should consider all the options for how nuclear energy could contribute to meeting the climate target, while considering that some of the EU Member States do not share this view.

The analysis of the available and close to the market nuclear technologies should be performed, covering the full development cycle from research and development, to demonstration and early stage deployment (techno-economic evaluation). The analysis should cover options for the integration of reactor systems with the decarbonised energy system, covering also other energy needs than electricity generation and addressing energy supply to a wide range of sectors. Developing a technical and economic understanding of the role that different nuclear systems can play in an evolving low-carbon and low-emission market for some Member States will provide the insights for stakeholders for selection of proven technologies that can contribute to a cost-optimised energy system by 2050.

The action should also identify and assess societal, cultural and ethical dimensions of the use and development of nuclear technologies in different European countries and analyse how policies and practices in the nuclear field can be informed with insights on social and ethical factors affecting public perception of nuclear power. The recommendations for mechanisms of interaction between citizens, civil society, decision-makers and researchers (in particular in social sciences and humanities, SSH) should be developed. This would contribute to the understanding of factors triggering societal engagement and provide insights for stakeholders regarding interaction with civil society. Results of this action would also provide input to research how European citizens perceive the risks, benefits and potentials of advanced and innovative technologies.

Action should include a number of European participatory workshops and systematic interaction the Local Information Committees linked to Nuclear Power Plants and other nuclear installations. Such engagement with the key stakeholders (civil society organisations and nuclear industry) should allow for analysis of the challenges and possible solutions for public acceptance of nuclear technology practices.