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Nuclear energy


Nuclear power stations currently produce around a third of the electricity and 15% of the energy consumed in the European Union (EU). The sector represents a source of energy with low carbon levels and relatively stable costs, which makes it attractive from the point of view of security of supply and fighting climate change. It is up to each Member State, however, to decide whether or not to pursue the option of nuclear power. The ground for nuclear energy in Europe was laid in 1957 by the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). Its main functions consisted of furthering cooperation in the field of research, protecting the public by establishing common safety standards, ensuring an adequate and equitable supply of ores and nuclear fuel, monitoring the peaceful use of nuclear material, and cooperating with other countries and international organisations. Specific measures adopted at EU level are geared to protecting the health of those working in the sector and of the public at large, and protecting the environment from the risks associated with the use of nuclear fuel and the resulting waste.

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