International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano on Monday opened the International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century with a call for greater use of domestic nuclear power in order to meet current economic and global greenhouse gas reduction targets.
The meeting that opened in Abu Dhabi on Monday includes around 700 participants from 67 IAEA Member states and five international organizations focused on power generation that will contribute to low-carbon emissions goals in order to keep planetary climate change in check.
“All countries, both developed and developing, need to secure sufficient energy to drive economic growth and counter climate change,” Amano said in remarks to open the three-day conference. “However, more use of nuclear power will be needed to provide the steady supply of baseload electricity to power modern economies if countries are to meet goals for greenhouse gas emissions which they set for themselves in the Paris Agreement.”
The Paris Agreement of 2015 was a landmark achievement in international cooperation. It was signed by more than 190 nations and ratified by 169 of them.
The United States Senate never ratified the accord, but formally joined the agreement through an executive order signed by President Barack Obama. President Donald Trump, however, has sought to revoke that order, sending the U.N. its intention to walk away from the agreement unless he could negotiate a better deal for the United States. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has signaled its intention to support both coal and nuclear power options for the United States by seeking a mandate that would force grid operators to cover the costs of electricity producers who maintain 90 days (or more) of fuel on hand for production, a nod toward the reliability of both coal and nuclear power.
The conference in Abu Dhabi is the fourth conference of its kind since the Paris Agreement. Currently, says the IAEA, nuclear power generates 11 percent of the world's electricity, but one-third of the world's zero-emissions electricity.
The conference was organized in cooperation with the Organization fore Economic Co-operation and Development's Nuclear Energy Agency. It will conclude with closing remarks by H.S. Mr. Hamad Alkaabi, United Arab Emirates permanent representative to the IAEA and conference president.
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