European affairs

Nuclear energy is the leading source of low-carbon electricity in the European Union (EU). As such, it contributes to the EU's objectives in terms of CO2 reduction, energy security, competitiveness and economic growth. As a strategic player in Europe’s nuclear industry, providing advanced technologies at all stages of the fuel cycle, Orano plays a key role in the implementation of EU policies.

Strategy - Supporting the EU energy and climate strategy

Nuclear power, a strategic asset towards EU CO2 emissions reduction

Accounting for one quarter of electricity produced in the EU, nuclear is the first single source and provides half of low-carbon electricity generation in Europe. The European objective of emissions reduction for 2030 has been reinforced to at least -55%, compared with 1990 levels. In the long run, the EU aims at achieving climate-neutrality in 2050 to stand as a global leader in the fight against climate change. In this context, the European Commission estimates that an important nuclear power share will constitute, together with renewables, the backbone of a carbon-free European power system.

Nuclear power, a pillar of European energy security

The availability and geographical diversity of uranium resources guarantee secure supply to the EU. Moreover, the price of electricity is barely affected by fluctuations in nuclear fuel costs, in contrast to oil and gas. All these assets make nuclear energy a particularly reliable source of electricity and a pillar of European energy security. Through its mining activities and its uranium conversion and enrichment plants located in Europe Orano contributes to the European Union’s security of supply.

Safely and sustainably managing used nuclear fuel

Safely and sustainably managing spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste is a priority for Europe, regulated by the Euratom legislation. Each Member State has ultimate responsibility for the radioactive waste produced on its soil and must take the necessary measures to ensure the safe and sustainable management of used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste.
With reference facilities for the treatment and recycling of used fuel, Orano offers its European customers competitive proven industrial solutions for the sustainable management of their radioactive waste and their used fuels, in line with efforts towards a more circular economy.

Orano, partner to EU states in their decommissioning projects

Orano also plays an essential part in the decommissioning of European nuclear installations at the end of their cycle. The experts of the Orano Dismantling and Services unit intervene on several European sites.

Maintaining industrial leadership and innovative technologies in Europe

Nuclear R&D and innovation at the cutting edge of technology

From 2021 to 2027, the European Union will dedicate approximately €95.5 billion in research and innovation funding in all sectors.  About 35% of this funding has been devoted to the fight against climate change. Orano is part of these research efforts and participates, through its own research and innovation strategy, in European technological leadership.
The European nuclear R&D program

Historically, the European nuclear R&D program, Euratom, has funded advanced nuclear research infrastructures and innovative projects in all sectors of the nuclear industry. Today, in its nuclear fission component, it is mainly used to promote research on nuclear safety, radiation protection and radioactive waste management.

Successor to Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe is the framework program for research and training that brings together all areas of research and innovation funded by the EU, except for Euratom.  With 95.5 billion euros for the period 2021-2027, Horizon Europe is based on three pillars: scientific excellence, global challenges and industrial competitiveness, and innovative Europe.

The European Union, taking up the key challenges in nuclear medicine

From medical imaging to diagnostics, cancer treatment and beyond, nuclear power is a resource very widely used in the health sector. One out of every two people will make use of nuclear medicine in their lives. This is why the European Union joins international efforts to ensure security of supply of radioisotopes used in nuclear medicine.  
Orano is an engaged player in the upstream supply chain, offering its enrichment capabilities for research reactors, producers of radioisotopes. Through its subsidiary Orano Med, Orano is also developing new therapies to fight cancer.

Competitiveness - Ensuring a competitive European economy

A major industrial sector

Nuclear energy represents about 250,000 direct jobs and 800,000 in total in Europe.In 2019, the nuclear industry supports more than 1.1 million jobs and contributes to more than 507 billion € to the EU GDP. New projects, in particular the construction of reactors, generate many jobs. As a benchmark, the operation of a nuclear reactor provides qualified jobs to two generations (over 60 years).

A competitive source of energy

Its low and stable production costs enable nuclear energy to offer electricity at competitive and affordable prices to European industrialists and citizens.

Nuclear reactors in the EU

  • 13 Member States operating nuclear power plants (excluding United Kingdom)
  • 107 reactors (in 2020 PRIS)
  • 4 reactors under construction (PRIS 2020)
  • 22 new reactors planned (WNA 2020)

  • Associations: Nucleareurope, SNETP, Nuclear Medicine Europe, BEPA, RECHARGE 
  • Industrial alliances : ERMA, EBA 
  • EIT: KIC Raw Materials

  • Contribution to the consultation on the strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reductions
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