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Nuclear Power is Key for Low-Carbon Future, Says IAEA Director General in Russia


Director General Yukiya Amano addressing the International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on 1 June, 2017. (Photo: C. Brady/IAEA)

The IAEA remains committed to helping countries use nuclear power to generate low-carbon electricity and counter the effects of climate change, said Director General Yukiya Amano at the International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, yesterday.

Energy is the engine of development and prosperity, he said at the panel discussion ‘The Role of Nuclear in the Green Energy Mix,’ and nuclear power provides stable electricity with a high degree of energy security and negligible carbon emissions.

“Nuclear power is one of the lowest-carbon technologies for generating electricity,” he said. “Thirty countries are already using nuclear power and about 30 others are considering introducing it.”

Mr Amano in his comments at the Forum highlighted the importance of the new generations of nuclear reactors, which will be safer and generate less waste. “Around 50 innovative small and medium-sized reactor concepts are at various stages of research and development. Three countries, including Russia, are already building such reactors,” he said.

He emphasized the importance of building nuclear expertise in countries operating or planning to operate nuclear power plants, including a strong, independent regulator. He welcomed the assistance of Russia’s government and nuclear industry in building such capacity in other countries. “We are very thankful to Russia for its support to the IAEA and its Member States,” he said. “Better trained regulators mean safer nuclear power.”

Mr Amano also noted the role of nuclear techniques in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Other speakers on the panel included Peter Szijjarto, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Alexey Likhachev, Chief Executive Officer of Rosatom and Pekka Lundmark, President of Fortum Corporation. A recording of the panel discussion is available via here.

Russia and the IAEA

Earlier this morning, Mr Amano met President Vladimir Putin and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and briefed them on the work of the IAEA, including its comprehensive support to countries using nuclear power, and thanked Russia for its support to the IAEA’s work, particularly in the ongoing education of nuclear industry professionals from around the world.

Mr Amano visited the Baltic shipyard in Saint Petersburg where he saw the construction of two nuclear powered icebreakers. These ships are used for escorting merchant ships in the northern Arctic Ocean, as well as for scientific expeditions to the region.

Tomorrow, Mr Amano is scheduled to visit the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant in Sosnovy Bor. Two new units are scheduled to be completed and generate electricity by 2019.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano visiting the Baltic shipyard in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on 1 June 2017. (Photo: C. Brady/IAEA) 

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