DUBAI: Nuclear power can make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy security, while delivering energy in the large and growing quantities needed to sustain an expanding world population and foster development.
The comments came on the concluding day of the World Government Summit 2017 during a panel discussion entitled “The Future of Nuclear Energy”. The panel includedYukiya Amano, Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Philippe Jamet, Former Commissioner to the French Nuclear Safety Authority, and Hamad Al Kaabi, Permanent Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the IAEA.
The panelists noted that factors such as population growth, urbanisation and growing economic development will continue to drive the world’s energy demand to record levels in the coming decades. They said that while nuclear power provides clean, cheap and reliable energy, safety and security as well as the need for long-term public acceptance, expertise and funding are the top concerns the world needs to effectively address as more nations plan to build and commission nuclear plants.
Amano said that around 30 developing countries are considering introducing nuclear power for civilian use, and needed support so they can use it safely, securely and sustainably. “Six years after Fukushima, nuclear power is still a viable and safe option to address our energy needs in the face of climate change. Over 60 nuclear power plants are currently under construction globally, four of which are in the UAE. Authorities in these countries are working very closely with international organisations such as the IAEA to benefit from international best practice and knowledge sharing.”
Noting lessons drawn from catastrophes related to nuclear reactors such as Chernobyl, Fukushima and the Three Mile Island, Jamet said: “The key take away from major accidents in the nuclear energy space is that nothing is infallible. Countries that wish to introduce nuclear power into their energy mix need to focus on all safety and security aspects.”