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IAEA Scientific Forum: How Nuclear Energy Innovations Help Power the Clean Energy Transition

Vienna, Austria

High-level experts from around the world will discuss how scientific and technological advances in nuclear power can facilitate the global transition to clean energy at this year’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Scientific Forum from 22 to 23 September.

Nuclear power, which contributes almost one third of all low carbon electricity, will need to play a prominent role if climate goals are to be met by 2050. Innovations are helping to improve the economics and enhance the effectiveness and safety of this reliable source of low carbon electricity, making it a more attractive option for countries.

The two-day event, Nuclear Power and the Clean Energy Transition, #Atoms4Climate, will include live and virtual presentations. The meeting will take place in Board Room D of the C Building of the Vienna International Centre (VIC) and will be streamed live from the opening at 9:30 CEST on 22 September 2020.

Due to restrictions related to COVID-19, physical participation is limited. Media is encouraged to participate in the event online, where there will be an opportunity to ask questions.

Details of the Scientific Forum can be found on the IAEA website and social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn). Photos of the Forum will also be available on Flickr.

Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi will open the Forum along with keynote speakers, including:

  • HE Mr Bento Costa Lima Leite de Albuquerque Júnior, Minister of Mines and Energy, Brazil
  • HE Mr Alok Sharma, Secretary of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, COP26 President, United Kingdom (video statement)
  • HE Mr Zhang Kejian, Chairman, China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA), China (video statement)
  • HE Mr François Jacq, General Administrator, French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), France (video statement)
  • Ms Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) (virtual)
  • Mr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (virtual)
  • Mr Boris Schucht, Chief Executive Officer, Urenco Limited (virtual)

Discussions at the Forum will centre around four sessions:

Session 1: Innovations for Achieving a Clean Energy Transition will focus on the scientific and technological innovations that are underway across the nuclear energy sector, highlighting scientific and engineering breakthroughs for advanced reactors and to support the long-term operation of current reactors.

Session 2: Raising the Bar: Nuclear Energy for "Deep Decarbonization" will highlight how nuclear power can support the goal of achieving net zero emissions by mid-century, and look at how energy systems using a mix of nuclear and renewable energy sources could lead the way towards this goal.

Session 3: Innovations for a Sustainable Future: Managing the Energy Life Cycle will examine the externalities of low carbon energy production and their management. It will also consider how innovations in the nuclear fuel cycle can reduce both the volume and toxicity of high-level waste, contributing to the sustainability of nuclear power.

Session 4: Advancing the Clean Energy Transition will look at barriers hindering greater deployment of nuclear power in the 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.

The Forum will conclude with a wrap-up session including remarks by IAEA Director Rafael Mariano Grossi as well as:

Mr Bernard Bigot, Director-General of the ITER Organization (virtual)

Ms Kirsty Gogan, CoFounder Energy for Humanity, Managing Director, LucidCatalyst

Ms Badreya Almarzooqi, Vice Chairwoman and Senior Radioactive Waste Management Engineer, Barakah Youth Council, United Arab Emirates (virtual)


There will be limited seating in Board Room D due to COVID-19 restrictions. Journalists who wish to attend the Forum physically should contact the IAEA Press Office, press@iaea.org . For online participation, please complete the registration form here.



Last update: 18 September 2020

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