Nuclear power is not the only answer but looks to be an important part of the future energy mix in Asia and other parts of the world, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said this week in Tokyo. Dr. ElBaradei met with Japanese governmental and industry representatives, and spoke at an event hosted by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and the Tokyo Institute of Technology. At Soka University, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree.
The Director General noted that the latest world energy projections show a 53% increase in global energy consumption by 2030 if current policies hold. "Two aspects of this analysis are especially interesting," he said. "The first is the expectation that 70% of the coming growth in demand will be from developing countries. The second is that... the increased use of nuclear power would help to meet the increase in energy demand, enhance the security of energy supply and mitigate carbon emissions... Nuclear energy alone is not a panacea, but it is likely in the near future to have an increasing role as part of the global energy mix."
Japan has the largest nuclear power programme in Asia, and the third largest worldwide; only France and the United States have more nuclear generating capacity.
In his remarks, Dr. ElBaradei also addressed issues of nuclear security and safeguards. Regarding the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea, he said: "I am pleased to note the recent agreement to resume the six-party talks. The IAEA stands ready to work with the DPRK - and with all others - towards a solution for this issue that would make use of the Agency´s verification capability to assure the international community that all nuclear activities in the DPRK are exclusively for peaceful purposes. Equally, this solution would seek to address the security, economic and other concerns of the DPRK. Bilateral concerns, such as the tragedy of the Japanese abducted persons that has resulted in so much anguish, will also need to be addressed."
The Director General is on an official visit to Japan, Vietnam, China, and Indonesia.