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New IAEA Webinar Series Explores Nuclear Technology Breakthroughs for the 21st Century


Solar panels near the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant in Slovakia. (Photo: A. Evrensel/IAEA)

The IAEA is launching a three-part series of interactive webinars exploring how low carbon nuclear technologies can help countries to meet growing energy demand as well as climate and sustainable development goals.

The series, Nuclear Technology Breakthroughs for the 21 Century, kicks off on 24 June with the first webinar on emerging energy systems integrating nuclear power with renewables such as solar and wind. Shannon Bragg-Sitton, Integrated Energy Systems Lead at Idaho National Laboratory, and Kamil Tucek, Team Leader at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, will be the featured speakers in a discussion moderated by Matthias Krause, Nuclear Engineer at the IAEA Nuclear Power Technology Development Section.

Register for the first webinar here.

“This webinar series is intended to support countries in identifying possible solutions to the myriad challenges they face with regards to energy, climate change and sustainable development,” said Stefano Monti, Head of the IAEA’s Nuclear Power Technology Development Section. “Low carbon nuclear power, including emerging technologies such as small modular reactors (SMRs) and other innovative nuclear systems, has unique attributes in terms of reliability and flexibility that can make a significant contribution to the clean energy transition.”

The series, which will run about once every two weeks, will touch on some of the topics set to be discussed at the IAEA’s annual Scientific Forum, which this year is titled Nuclear Energy and the Clean Energy Transition. The forum is scheduled to be held on 22-23 September during the the Agency’s 64th General Conference.

The series is aimed at reaching a diverse audience including engineers, physicists, chemists, researchers, scientists, students and professors. In addition, end users, managers and policy makers determining the future direction of sustainable energy research and development can benefit from the discussions.

Part 1 of the series, titled Integrated Energy Systems for Electricity Production and Beyond, will look at how integrating nuclear power with renewables can help to decarbonize not only electricity production but also other sectors such as industry, transport and buildings. Other webinars in Part 1 will focus on SMRs in integrated systems as well as nuclear power for non-electric applications such as seawater desalination, hydrogen production, district heating or cooling and process heat for industry.

Part 2, Disruptive Trends in Nuclear Technology, will draw on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic to cast a fresh light on public acceptance of nuclear power as a key element in climate change mitigation. It will also explore the role of digital technologies, artificial intelligence and integrated nuclear simulation techniques in nuclear science and engineering. Part 3, Advanced Nuclear Technologies for 21st Century Solutions, will examine the range of emerging technologies expected to strengthen nuclear power’s role as part of an optimal energy mix.

“This webinar series will explore the emerging breakthroughs in nuclear technologies that, together with other low carbon energy sources, can help to produce an array of clean products to decarbonize the economy, from heat for industrial processes and buildings to hydrogen for energy storage and many other industrial applications,” Krause said. “By integrating advanced nuclear systems with renewable energy, we can leverage the best of both technologies to address some of the most pressing issues facing our world.”

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