Nuclear fission in the EU
Nuclear fission energy supplies 35% of electricity in the European Union. It constitutes an element in combating climate change and reducing Europe's dependence on imported energy. Some of the power plants of the current generation will continue to be operated for at least 20 years. Notwithstanding the potential impact of nuclear energy on energy supply and economic development, severe nuclear accidents may endanger human health. Therefore, the general objective of the Euratom Programme 2014-2018 is to pursue nuclear research and training activities with an emphasis on continuous improvement of nuclear safety, security and radiation protection, notably to potentially contribute to the long-term decarbonisation of the energy system in a safe, efficient and secure way.
In the interest of all its Member States, the role of the Union is to develop a framework to support joint cutting-edge research, knowledge creation and knowledge preservation on nuclear fission technologies, with special emphasis on safety, security, radiation protection and non-proliferation. That requires independent scientific evidence, to which the Joint Research Centre can make a key contribution. In fact the JRC provides independent customer-driven scientific and technological support for the formulation, development, implementation and monitoring of Community policies, in particular in the field of nuclear safety and security research and training. The Euratom Programme is implemented through indirect actions using one or several of the forms of funding provided for by the Financial Regulation, in particular grants, prizes, procurement and financial instruments [Regulation 1311/2013, see section 3.4]. The Community support consists also of direct actions in the form of research and innovation activities undertaken by the JRC.
With the aim of deepening the relationship between science and society and reinforcing public confidence in science, the Euratom Programme favours an informed engagement of citizens and civil society on research and innovation matters by promoting science education, by making scientific knowledge more accessible, by developing responsible research and innovation agendas that meet the concerns and expectations of citizens and civil society, and by facilitating their participation in activities under the Euratom Programme. The participation of any legal entity in indirect actions undertaken under the Euratom Programme is governed by the rules laid down in Regulation 1290/2013, which apply both to the Horizon 2020 and to the Euratom programmes.