IAEA Supports Climate Goals through Nuclear Energy
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Nuclear power is among the energy sources and technologies available today that could help meet the energy-climate challenge. GHG emissions from nuclear power plants are negligible, and nuclear power, together with hydropower and wind-based electricity, is among the lowest GHG emitters when emissions over the entire life cycle are considered.
Following the COP21 Paris Summit in 2015, many countries are now re-evaluating their energy mixes and the potential role of nuclear energy. Newcomer states, or countries that are introducing nuclear power for the first time, are seeking the assistance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to develop proper infrastructure to establish safe, secure and sustainable nuclear power programs and cope with the challenges posed by rising energy demand and the need to mitigate climate change.
David Shropshire, Head of the IAEA’s Planning and Economic Studies Section, said that the potential role for nuclear energy has greatly increased since the historic adoption of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. The decision to use nuclear is now easier since there are only limited large-scale, uninterrupted energy options that come with small environmental footprints.
The IAEA is an essential resource hub for newcomer states considering nuclear power. They can access the IAEA’s energy planning tools and tap into its knowledge of nuclear power to make informed decisions about the role of this energy source in their countries.
The IAEA’s three-phase ‘Milestones approach’ facilitates the implementation of a nuclear power program from start to finish. This includes issues for consideration by a Member State before deciding to build a nuclear power plant (NPP), the preparations involved and the construction and commissioning of the NPP.
According to the IAEA, Poland is a good example of a newcomer state that plans to generate nuclear power, not only to ensure long term power supply and stimulate national economic growth, but also to mitigate climate change. Part of Poland’s energy strategy stipulates that introducing nuclear power is one of the means to achieve these goals.
Among other newcomer states, Jordan included nuclear power in its national strategy to mitigate carbon emissions. According to Khaled Toukan, Chairman of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission, the establishment of a nuclear power plant, among other alternatives, will have a significant positive impact on Jordan from the standpoints of energy cost and reliability, national income, human infrastructure and expertise building, as well as carbon emission reduction.
Nuclear power is also included in Turkey’s energy strategy to mitigate climate change. The IAEA has assisted Turkey in evaluating its readiness to develop a nuclear power program. Upon Turkey’s request, IAEA experts provided recommendations for a national action plan and also reviewed the country’s draft nuclear energy laws. Turkey plans to build two NPPs with eight reactors to be operational by 2028 and to start building a third by 2023.
Image Credit: IAEA/Jordan AEC