The Government will allocate about 24 million a year to feed projects that generate employment in the areas of influence of the Ascó and Vandellòs nuclear power plants, some resources that should be used to look for work alternatives in the face of the future closure of these facilities, expected from 2030 and it is estimated that it will cause the loss of 3,000 direct jobs.
This has been explained by the company ‘councilors’, Roger Torrent, and Climate Action, Teresa Jordà, after meeting this Thursday with the presidents of the county councils of Priorat, Baix Camp, Terra Alta, Ribera d’Ebre and Baix Ebre, all of them located in the province of Tarragona.
These 24 million are the estimate for 2022 of the resources with which the so-called nuclear transition fund will be endowed next year. This fund is included in the accompanying law for the Generalitat’s budgets for 2022, currently being processed in the Parliament, and is paid with 20% of the income collected with the Catalan tax on facilities that affect the environment.
The fund must be used to finance actions of socioeconomic development and energy transition of the municipalities located in the area of influence of the nuclear power plants, explained Torrent. Although the collection may vary from year to year, the Generalitat believes that it will have an average of 24 million per year to “respond to a scenario of nuclear closure that is as inevitable as it is essential,” he said, and to prepare a just energy transition in the affected regions.
“We want to help generate an alternative economic fabric to replace nuclear-related jobs “, Torrent stressed, specifying that the fund will have four lines of action related to reindustrialization, the agri-food sector, new technologies and tourism linked to natural heritage.
“The country must commit itself to territories that have been extremely supportive for decades,” said Torrent, referring to the nuclear reactors in the province of Tarragona, and claimed to be gradually preparing “the transformation of the productive fabric of the area for when the moment of closing of the nuclear power plants arrives “.
The regulation that will deploy this fund foresees that not only the municipalities that house the nuclear reactors, but a broader territorial scope, will benefit from these resources.
For his part, Jordà has ensured that Catalonia is firmly committed to the “denuclearization before 2040”, but has claimed that this process be done “fairly” and without leaving “anyone behind.”
Likewise, the ‘councilor’ recalled that, apart from the nuclear transition fund, a part of the income derived from the energy transport activity – about 1.3 million in 2022 – is allocated to the so-called climate fund, which finances actions to combat climate change.
The ‘councilor’ has also highlighted the validation in the Parliament of the new Catalan decree on renewables, which “will accelerate the energy transition” in Catalonia “from a participatory, democratic, distributed and territorially cohesive model,” he pointed out.