Government ministers and international experts are gathered in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, to discuss the future of nuclear energy at an IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century.
In his opening statement, Director General Amano emphasized that "access to stable sources of energy is vital both for developing countries and for developed countries."
"Overall demand for energy is growing steadily as the world population increases. In order to meet that growing demand, we need to tap all available sources of energy."
"Nuclear power is a tried and tested technology. It provides electricity at a stable cost. The material used to produce nuclear fuel - uranium - has the potential to last thousands of years if used in fast reactors. This is in contrast to supplies of fossil fuels, which are expected to run out within a few hundred years."
"Like renewables, nuclear power involves low greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike renewables, nuclear can deliver the steady supply of baseload electricity needed to power a modern economy."
The text of the Director General's opening statement is available here.
The Conference, convening from 27 to 29 June 2013, provides a forum for policy-makers and experts to deliberate and assess the role and viability of nuclear power in sustainable development, including climate change mitigation, and in meeting the growing global requirements for electricity. During this meeting, the status and prospects of nuclear power for the future, including the importance of nuclear safety and security as necessary prerequisites for nuclear power, will also be in focus, as will different technical aspects involved in the development of nuclear power. The IAEA's projections for the future of nuclear power show continued growth globally, albeit at a slower pace than predicted before the March 2011 accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
The meeting, organized by the IAEA in cooperation with the OECD's Nuclear Energy Agency and hosted by the Government of the Russian Federation, includes a plenary session where national statements will be delivered, as well as panel sessions, focusing on the following topics: energy and the environment; nuclear safety and reliability through international cooperation; infrastructure, technology and institutional developments - the way forward; and drivers for deployment of sustainable and innovative technology.
Speakers at the opening session include IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, Rosatom Director General and Conference President, Sergey Kirienko, and OECD Secretary General, Angel Gurría.
Previous IAEA Ministerial Conferences on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century were held 2005 in Paris and 2009 in Beijing.
The IAEA helps countries that opt for nuclear power to use it safely and securely. It also assists countries that have decided to phase out nuclear power manage issues such as plant decommissioning, and waste management for decades to come.