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General Conference: Day 3 Highlights


The 64th IAEA General Conference is taking place from 21-25 September 2020. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

The 2020 Scientific Forum on Nuclear Power and the Clean Energy Transition wrapped up today. A concluding session summed up the various recurring topics throughout the two-day meeting. These included the indispensability of, and growing demand for, nuclear power in the clean energy mix; the importance of innovation in this area; challenges related to financing nuclear power programmes, and the need for more assertive communicating on existing solutions to deal with nuclear waste. A video summary of the event can be viewed here.

The following virtual side events took place on Wednesday:

The event Celebrating 20 Years of the International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO), highlighted INPRO’s activities and achievements. INPRO is a key vehicle for international cooperation on the sustainable planning, development and deployment of nuclear energy. It develops and supports energy scenarios, innovations, sustainability assessments and strategies, as well as dialogue and outreach.

The event The Future of Atoms: Artificial Intelligence for Nuclear Applications focused on artificial intelligence based approaches in nuclear science and showcased how these could advance cancer staging in nuclear medicine as well as cancer treatment through radiotherapy, aid and accelerate nuclear fusion research and protect water resources.

Participants at the event A Global Voice on Gender Equality in Nuclear: the role of the IAEA  heard the accounts of a panel of gender champions, who discussed their careers and how they work to inspire girls and young women to consider a career in science. Participants were given an overview of the IAEA’s work on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Research reactors were the focus of the IAEA Peer Review Missions in Support of Research Reactors event, where attendees were given insight into how various IAEA peer review missions help enhance the safe long-term operation and effective utilization of ageing operating research reactors. IAEA peer review missions involve teams of international, multidisciplinary experts who compare actual practices with IAEA standards for nuclear safety and international good practices. The event also covered infrastructure development for new research reactor projects.

Member State events

The Nuclear Human Resource Development in Asian Countries Embarking on a Nuclear Power Programme event, organized by Japan, highlighted the effectiveness of training courses and workshops by the Fukui International HRD Center for Atomic Energy in the Wakasa Wan Energy Research Center over the past 10 years in nuclear human resource development for countries in Asia embarking on a nuclear power programme.

Participants at the event Regulatory Challenges in the Immediate Decommissioning of Reactors without Final Disposal Solutions in Place, organized by Sweden, discussed the challenges and measures that could be taken by operators and regulators when immediate dismantling of nuclear reactors is required while no related licensed or operational disposal facilities for spent nuclear fuel or nuclear waste exist.

The event about The Link between Emergency Preparedness and Protection Strategy for Nuclear Emergencies, also organized by Sweden, focused on the importance of developing radiation protection capabilities before potential nuclear emergencies to ensure the successful implementation of actions in case of an emergency situation. It highlighted the importance of emergency preparedness.

At the event Innovation in Decommissioning, experts from across the United Kingdom’s (UK) decommissioning industry shared their innovative techniques, practices and technology solutions in decommissioning across multiple sites. Organized by the UK, the event covered the country’s experience in placing innovation at the heart of stakeholder engagement, optimizing the efficiency and enhancing the safety of decommissioning.

Exploring the ways in which advanced technologies – such as small and medium sized or modular reactors and advanced modular reactors – can help combat climate change, was the focus of the event The Role of Nuclear Energy in Combating Climate Change: Are Advanced Nuclear Technologies the Answer? Attendees discussed how new technologies can provide on-grid and off-grid electricity and contribute to the decarbonization of heating systems and hydrogen production. The event was organized by the United Kingdom.

An event organized by Cuba on Enhancing Nuclear Safety and Radiological Protection through Regional and International Cooperation: Lessons Learned from the FORO highlighted the achievements of the Ibero-American Forum of Radiological and Nuclear Regulatory Agencies (FORO) in enhancing nuclear safety and radiological protection related to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in the Ibero-American region and beyond. The event showcased the cooperation between the FORO and the IAEA, and with regional networks and other interested parties.

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the IAEA today signed a Practical Arrangements, establishing a framework for collaboration on outreach and resource mobilization related to IAEA-supported activities in nuclear medicine, radiation medicine, radiation oncology, radiotherapy and palliative care. The agreement was signed between Ambassador Günther Granser and IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi.


Last update: 24 Sep 2020


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