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IAEA General Conference

IAEA Scientific Forum 2020

22–23 September 2020, IAEA Headquarters, Vienna, Austria

Nuclear Power and the Clean Energy Transition

22–23 September 2020
IAEA Headquarters, Vienna, Austria



10:00-11:00     Opening Session

The Scientific Forum will begin with remarks by IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi followed by statements of several other high-level speakers.

11:00-12:00     Session 1 (Part I): Innovations for Achieving a Clean Energy Transition

The first session will focus on the scientific and technological innovations that are underway across the nuclear energy sector and how innovative reactor designs or construction methods, for example, can make a difference in the future. Nuclear power’s current role in the clean energy transition will also be explored, highlighting scientific and engineering breakthroughs that support the long-term operation of current reactors to complement increasing shares of variable renewable energy sources (VREs.

12:00-13:00     Lunch

13:00-14:00     Session 1 (Part II): Innovations for Achieving a Clean Energy Transition

14:00-15:00     Session 2: Raising the Bar: Nuclear Energy for “Deep Decarbonization"

If the world is to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions by mid-century, emissions reductions will be required not only in electricity production but also energy consumption across key industrial sectors, such as construction and transport. This session will highlight how nuclear power is in a position to uniquely support this “deep decarbonization” by furnishing process heat for industries and district heat for buildings, desalinating seawater for consumption in increasingly arid regions, and producing hydrogen for a variety of uses. The session will also look at how energy systems using a mix of nuclear- and renewable energy sources could lead the way to net zero emissions.

15:00-16:00     Break

16:00-17:00     Session 3: Managing the Life Cycle for a Sustainable Future

All forms of energy production come at a cost, from natural resource utilization to waste generation. This session will examine the externalities of nuclear energy production and their management, including storage and disposal methods for spent nuclear fuel. It will also consider how innovations in the nuclear fuel cycle can bring recycling to a new level and reduce both the volume and toxicity of high level waste, contributing to the sustainability of nuclear power.


10:00-11:00     Session 4: Advancing the Clean Energy Transition

This session will look at key barriers hindering the greater use of nuclear power in the global transition to clean energy, such as concerns over costs and financing. The IAEA’s role in fostering technological innovation and in transferring this technology to its Member States will also be highlighted.

11:00-12:00     Closing Session

COVID-19 info

Arrangements for GC(64) in view of COVID-19 restrictions
Following a series of Member States' consultations conducted by the IAEA Secretariat on the arrangements for the 64th regular session of the General Conference, Member States have agreed on arrangements so that the General Conference can pursue its work in the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. The arrangements provide the framework for the conduct of the General Conference and are accessible here.


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