Statements Miscellaneous

22 April 2009 | Beijing, China
International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century

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Concluding Statement at International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century

by Conference President Li Yizhong, Minister of Industry and Information Technology

The International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century was held in Beijing, China, from 20 to 22 April 2009, attended by ministers, high-ranking officials and experts from 61 States and 7 international organizations, with a total of 808 participants and observers. This conference was organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), hosted by the Chinese Government through the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA), and co-sponsored by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of OECD and the China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA). Its aim was to review the status and the prospects of nuclear energy, including the evolution of technology, and offer a forum for many countries considering the potential benefits of adding nuclear power to the energy mix.

A wide range of issues has been covered during the three days´ conference, including energy resources and the environment, technology available now and in the future, infrastructure development, reliable fuel supply, spent fuel and waste management. The participants exchanged views on the future role of nuclear energy by presentations, discussions and consultations. There was a broad convergence of views among participants. The goal of the conference has been achieved.

The Conference recognized the positive momentum towards nuclear power and the decisions by many developed and developing States to pursue the use of nuclear energy. The Director General of the IAEA reported that more than 60 countries - mostly in the developing world - have informed the IAEA that they might be interested in launching nuclear power programmes. While respecting the right of each State to define its national energy policy in accordance with its international obligations, vast majority of participants affirmed that nuclear energy, as a proven, clean, safe, competitive technology, will make an increasing contribution to the sustainable development of human kind throughout the 21st century and beyond. It was widely recognized that:

Welcoming the opportunity of further development of nuclear power, participants present at this Conference expressed their views on the following aspects:

To conclude, the progress made by the nuclear industry since the 2005 Paris Conference has been significant, as indicated by the number of countries expressing interest in new nuclear plants. The IAEA plays an essential role in assisting States to develop the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The IAEA was encouraged to continue its international cooperation with Member States and international organizations such as the OECD/NEA. In this regard, participants are looking forward to a further conference at the Ministerial level in another four years, which would be a valuable step in the direction of developing the support and assurance by all countries involved in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

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