Greek PM: "There is no way to reach carbon neutrality without nuclear power"

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis emphasised the importance of nuclear energy for Europe’s energy self-sufficiency during the 28th Annual Economist Government Roundtable conference.

He stated, “There is no way [for Europe] to reach carbon neutrality without nuclear power.”

“Europe was and still is a leader in nuclear technology,” he said, adding that “Greece is not a country that has nuclear energy.”

His comments gain significance as Europe strives to reduce dependency on Russian energy.

New nuclear technologies are increasingly being considered and developed for shipping as defence and civil offshore applications underpin the case for their adoption, highlights the class society Lloyd’s Register.

“As more evidence from testbed technological solutions becomes available, uncertainties in operation, costs and safety aspects will diminish,” LR says.

The prime minister participated in a conversation with the president of the Jacques Delors Institute and former prime minister of Italy Enrico Letta, in the framework of the 28th annual “Economist Government Roundtable”, held at the Glyfada Golf Course “Konstantinos Karamanlis”, in Athens.

In particular, Kyriakos Mitsotakis made a special reference to nuclear energy, putting on the table a basic concern for the next EU energy day.

Mr. Mitsotakis emphatically raised some questions about the issue: “Are we investing as Europeans in the next generation of small nuclear reactors? Have we really placed our chips where we should in this green transition, at least identifying three, four critical industries? Are we investing in our interconnections to the extent that we should?”

The Prime Minister pointed out Europe’s loss of competitive advantage in renewable energy technologies to China and the US.

He acknowledged that Europe “may never become as competitive as China in the production of commodities such as photovoltaic panels.” Opinions that are definitely “food for thought”.

He also advocated for a strategic approach in the green transition, focusing on sectors where Europe can excel.

“When it’s blowing in the North Sea, it may be sunny in Greece, but there is no way you can make renewables work unless you have a very sophisticated interconnection grid. I think we at least need to get our priorities right and try to be real champions where we can be,” the minister concluded.

In its most recent expert-led assessment of nuclear solutions in the Zero-Carbon Fuel Monitor, the Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub, a joint initiative between Lloyd’s Register and Lloyd’s Register Foundation, points to improvements in nuclear-power technology readiness levels with offshore applications increasingly being proven.

However, despite these technological advancements, community readiness levels (CRLs) remain affected by public perception of the nuclear industry and investment readiness levels (IRL) are low due to uncertainties around the wider uptake of nuclear technologies in commercial shipping.