Home WNA

Share

Announcements

 

First reactor safety approval is good news for Japan

17 July 2014

 

A draft decision from the Nuclear Regulatory Authority that Sendai units 1 and 2 meet Japan’s new safety standards is a big step forward for the country as it heads towards restarting its fleet of 48 nuclear reactors.  

The country has had to wait a long time for the first approval to come. Japanese reactors have mostly stood idle since operators took them offline following the Fukushima accident of March 2011 to allow for a major overhaul of the country’s regulatory system. The extra money spent on fossil fuel imports to cover this has amounted to ¥ 3 - 4 trillion per year ($30 - 40 billion) according to government estimates. Yesterday’s announcement is welcome evidence that the new regulatory structure is in fact working, and that a greater level of safety has been introduced. WNA hopes that similar decisions will soon be arrived at for all of Japan’s reactors.

It is very important for Japan to restart its nuclear reactors, both for economic but also health and environmental reasons. Japan’s nuclear power plants help keep the air clean by preventing the emission of harmful atmospheric pollutants and greenhouse gases. Restarting them is perhaps the single most important step that can be taken at this time to help keep the world within 2 °C of warming.

In Financial Year 2010 Japan’s nuclear reactors produced 271 TWh of electricity, an amount almost precisely equal to that produced by all of the EU’s wind and solar sources in 2012 (273.4 TWh). The reactor shutdown has resulted in additional emissions of over 100 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

 

The World Nuclear Association is the trade body that represents the global nuclear industry. Its mission is to promote a wider understanding of nuclear energy among the public, politicians and decision makers; to provide trustworthy, comprehensive and easy to access information and enable industry cooperation on economic, environmental and safety issues.

Contact: David Hess +44 (0) 20 7451 1543 or press@world-nuclear.org

 

WNA welcomes UK and China's nuclear energy cooperation agreement

17 June 2014

 

Agreement will help address climate change and support businesses in the global nuclear industry  

The World Nuclear Association welcomes today’s announcement of deeper cooperation between the governments of China and the UK on nuclear energy and climate change.

WNA Director General Agneta Rising said:

“Nuclear energy supplies clean, affordable and reliable electricity. This agreement will help the development of nuclear energy in both the UK and China, promoting investment and support businesses in the global nuclear industry for decades to come.”

The announcement today will help ensure that nuclear energy will continue to make a valuable contribution to diversifying the UK’s electricity mix and support the UK in meeting its long term climate change goals.

The announcement will also promote the development of nuclear energy in China by drawing on the resources of UK industry. China aims to supply 150 gigawatts of electricity from nuclear energy by 2030 as part of its efforts to cut air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The World Nuclear Association is the trade body that represents the global nuclear industry. Its mission is to promote a wider understanding of nuclear energy among the public, politicians and decision makers; to provide trustworthy, comprehensive and easy to access information and enable industry cooperation on economic, environmental and safety issues.

Contact:+44 (0) 20 7451 1536 or press@world-nuclear.org

UK Investment Contract for Hinkley Point C New Nuclear Power Station

4 April 2014

 

European Commission competition inquiry into UK government support to the Hinkley Point C project  

The World Nuclear Association responded today to the European Commission's public consultation exercise into government support for nuclear power in the United Kingdom. Last December the European Commission, which is the EU's competition authority, opened an investigation into the support to be offered by the British government to secure the construction of a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The Commission has to be satisfied that the measures proposed, including a 'contract for difference' and an infrastructure loan guarantee, will not distort the electricity market or impede competition. It invited comments by 7 April 2014. 

WNA Director General Agneta Rising said, "the outcome of the Hinkley Point C case is of great interest internationally. The UK Electricity Market Reform is an innovative approach to encouraging the de-carbonization of the electricity supply system in a deregulated market. The contract for difference helps low-carbon technologies, like nuclear power and renewable energy sources, secure the forward finance they need to build a capital-intensive plant, which the market would not support at prevailing electricity prices. There is little risk that these measures will crowd out investment in renewables or distort electricity trade between the UK and other European partners. Affordable and reliable low-carbon nuclear energy is good news for industry, jobs and exports in Europe."   

The WNA paper concludes that the promotion of nuclear power is a common objective of the European Union according to the Euratom Treaty and that the measures the UK government proposes for Hinkley Point C are compatible with the Union's environmental and energy policies.   

The Hinkley Point C project's promoter, EDF Energy, and its technology partner AREVA, are leading members of WNA.  

The full WNA response is available here for download: WNA HPC Response

The World Nuclear Association is the trade body that represents the global nuclear industry. Its mission is to promote a wider understanding of nuclear energy among the public, politicians and decision makers; to provide trustworthy, comprehensive and easy to access information and enable industry cooperation on economic, environmental and safety issues.

Contact: Greg Kaser, kaser@world-nuclear.org, +44 (0) 20 7451 1528 or press@world-nuclear.org

 

EU 2030 energy framework leaves room for nuclear and renewables to help reduce CO2

22 January 2014

The World Nuclear Association (WNA) welcomes the European Commission's 2030 energy and climate policy framework, released today. While a new renewable energy target once again demonstrates an unfortunate policy bias, the "flexible" approach outlined allows nuclear power to play an expanded role in decarbonising electricity supply.

Unfortunately the target of 27% for renewable energy continues to undermine the possibility for cost efficiency in meeting the carbon target. It also again demonstrates an unjustified preference in EU policy for renewable energy over other carbon reduction pathways - such as nuclear energy - regardless of cost, maturity and the preferences of individual Member States.

WNA Director General Agneta Rising said, "Clearly a switch from carbon-emitting fossil fuels will continue to be essential if Europe wishes to meet its carbon reduction goals. I'm pleased to see that the Commission has put in place a realistic framework that will allow nuclear power to play a larger role in helping with this alongside renewable energy sources."

European nuclear trade association FORATOM also commented on the framework[1]. Director General Jean-Pol Poncelet noted: "Nuclear power already produces two thirds of the EU's low-carbon electricity, at very competitive prices, and will continue to do so. It is regrettable that this reality is not emphasised in the EC's Communication. In addition, nuclear new build in a number of countries will contribute to the further reduction of greenhouse gases in Europe."  

[1] http://www.foratom.org/news-report/225-foratom-gives-mixed-reaction-to-ec-s-communication-on-2030-climate-and-energy-policy-framework.html 

The World Nuclear Association is the trade body that represents the global nuclear industry. Its mission is to promote a wider understanding of nuclear energy among the public, politicians and decision makers; to provide trustworthy, comprehensive and easy to access information and enable industry cooperation on economic, environmental and safety issues.

Contact WNA: +44 (0) 20 7451 1543 or press@world-nuclear.org

 

UK nuclear agreement is an international success story

21 October 2013

The WNA welcomes today’s news of an agreement that will see French, Chinese and British companies work together to deliver the first of a new generation of nuclear power plants in the UK. This demonstrates how international cooperation underpins successful nuclear development and reinforces how essential the technology is in meeting global energy goals.  

Commenting on the agreement WNA Director General Agneta Rising pointed out “The combined nuclear experience of these countries is outstanding. The agreement brings two of the world’s most established nuclear nations together with its fastest growing one. Hinkley Point C will create opportunities for sustainable growth and sharing of best practice throughout the global industry.”

New nuclear power stations have been a pillar of UK government energy and climate policy since 2006, with years of hard work coming together today. Nuclear currently provides about 20% of UK electricity, while Europe-wide the figure is about 30%. It is by far the largest source of low-carbon generation in the continent.

Rising added, “The agreement shows that the UK government is serious about reducing emissions. The announced strike price1 confirms that new nuclear is the most affordable low carbon option for the country. Reliable generation from Hinkley will help keep future energy prices stable for consumers and reduce the country’s impending capacity gap.”

Many European countries are planning to build new nuclear plants with some looking to the UK as an example of how this can best be achieved. Reinforcing just how strong the desire is to see new nuclear built in the continent is the recent announcement from the Visegrád 42, and a joint statement from 12 European countries back in March3 calling for equal treatment of nuclear and renewables at the EU level. With EU initiatives such as the Emission Trading Scheme failing to lead to significant carbon reductions national governments have had to take the lead in introducing effective climate policy.

Looking globally, Rising noted “we project that nuclear power will grow 55% worldwide by 20304 as countries increasingly recognize it as an essential source of affordable, reliable and clean energy.”

_____________________________________________________________________________________

1) The strike price provides stability to investors via a fixed price per unit of electricity irrespective of the market price. When the market price is higher than the strike price the generator pays back the difference. Today the strike price for the Hinkley project was announced as £92.5/MWh over 35 years, or £89.5/MWh if the companies proceed with new reactors at Sizewell. Strike prices for renewable technologies were announced in June this year.

2) http://www.visegradgroup.eu/news/v4-premiers-nuclear 

3) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/140109/final_EU_Nuclear_Energy_Communiqu_.pdf 

4) The Global Nuclear Fuel Market: Supply and Demand 2013-2030

 

Press Release

Contact: David Hess, hess@world-nuclear.org, +44 (0) 20 7451 1543 

 

Nuclear governance for growth

15 October 2013 


Agneta Rising

"Nuclear power needs to grow faster to meet future energy demand and avert climate change. We need better, smarter regulatory governance to promote safe operation and help achieve this necessary expansion of nuclear generation," said Agneta Rising, Director General of the World Nuclear Association, today at the World Energy Congress in Daegu, Korea.


"We have plenty of energy sources," said Rising, "But there are very few that have a low impact on the environment. Nuclear has really good environment characteristics. There are even fewer energy sources that also offer security of supply. Nuclear has this benefit as well."

For these reasons global nuclear capacity is projected to grow 55% from the current 371 GWe to 574 GWe, according to recent WNA projections.*

The first of a new generation of reactors are now being built around the world but a single reactor design still has to go through different regulatory processes in each country to achieve approval. In this area governments and the nuclear industry must learn from other industries.

Rising said, "We would like to see more standardisation in different countries' approval processes, so that reactor vendors need not extensively rework the same information, as well as greater recognition of regulatory assessments already conducted around the world." Achieving this requires greater collaboration within industry, as well as between governments and their regulatory authorities. 

* The Global Nuclear Fuel Market: Supply and Demand 2013-2030

Press Release  Full Text of Speech

Contact:  David Hess, hess@world-nuclear.org, +44 (0) 207 451 1543

 

Vacancy - Senior Project Manager

23 September 2013

The World Nuclear Association (WNA), the international organization representing the companies of the global nuclear industry, is seeking a Senior Project Manager with expertise in radiological protection to lead its work in the areas of radiological protection, waste management and decommissioning.

Besides expert knowledge, the candidate should have a good understanding of the key policy areas likely to impact the nuclear industry in the fields of radiological protection, waste management and decommissioning. He / she will require exceptional skills in building common industry positions, and in advocating them to international bodies, such as the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where the WNA acts as industry's voice.  

Applicants should have university degree level education as well as strong professional experience in a relevant field. They should have a detailed knowledge of the nuclear power industry, including the nuclear fuel cycle. The candidate should have excellent analytical and presentational skills, and be able to communicate fluently and accurately in English. Knowledge of other languages would be an advantage.

Please send a CV and covering letter of no more than one page outlining your suitability for this position to Serge Gorlin, Head of Industry Cooperation, World Nuclear Association, 22a St James's Square, London SW1Y 4JH, or appointments@world-nuclear.org .  

The closing date for applications is 15 October 2013 and interviews will follow soon after.

 

WNA: Nuclear fuel demand to increase 

12 September 2013

Worldwide demand for uranium is expected to increase considerably up to 2030, resulting in a substantial need for additional supplies of nuclear fuel, according to a report released today by the World Nuclear Association.

The 2013 edition of the World Nuclear Association's (WNA's) biennial report on The Global Nuclear Fuel Market - Supply and Demand 2013-2030, released today in London at the WNA's Annual Symposium, projects nuclear capacity to grow up to 2030 at a faster rate than at any time since 1990.

In the WNA's 'reference scenario', world nuclear generating capacity will increase from the current level of 370 GWe (including all Japanese reactors except Fukushima Daiichi 1-4) to 433 GWe by 2020 and to 574 GWe by 2030. The annual average rate of growth over the whole period is 2.6%, sufficient to maintain the nuclear share of world electricity at close to the current 12% level to 2030. In the more optimistic upper scenario, the equivalent figures are 466 GWe in 2020 and 700 GWe in 2030. In the relatively pessimistic lower scenario, nuclear generating capacity effectively stagnates in the period to 2020 and then drops away to 341 GWe in 2030.

Uranium demand would reach 119,000 tonnes by 2030 in the upper scenario, an increase of 43% from today's level of 62,000 tU, and about 97,000 tU (a 22% increase) in the reference scenario. Provided that all uranium mines currently under development enter service as planned, the report finds that the uranium market should be adequately supplied to 2025, after which time new mines will be required.

The WNA has revised its nuclear capacity projections downwards since the 2011 edition of The Global Nuclear Fuel Market. The lower projections result from the fact that utilities aiming to commission new nuclear power plants have recently been faced with an increased level of challenges. These challenges reflect not only the post-Fukushima calls for the industry to demonstrate a higher degree of safety but, probably of more pressing concern in North America and Europe, the need to cope with stronger competition from alternative generating technologies at a time of more modest growth in expected power demand. Meanwhile, the overall outlook for the energy sector is especially uncertain due to the lack of clear policy direction on the decarbonisation of energy supply.

Contact: Jeremy Gordon, +44 (0)7749 120019

 

WNA: When words cause more harm than radiation

9 September 2013

Recent exaggerations of the leaks and movement of radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi accident site may have caused worse societal and health impacts than the events themselves.

While the water has led to no worker health impacts and zero detected offsite contamination; the world outside of Japan was subjected to headlines announcing a serious deterioration of site conditions, ongoing ocean pollution and even a new nuclear disaster. Apparently as a result of such reports a South Korean airline cancelled flights to the area, Tepco's stock price plunged and Tokyo's bid for the Olympic Games in 2020 was put in jeopardy. It is beyond question that the general level of anxiety within some members of the public was also heightened needlessly.

Such inflated commentary contributes to myths about the accident that experts have long sought to dispel. "Radiation exposure following the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi did not cause any immediate health effects. It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers," concluded the Vienna-based United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) inMay this year. This statement referred to radioactive releases to sea and air orders of magnitude greater than the recent leaks to ground.

Letters from radiation professionals to the Japanese public published in August pointed out that the potential health effects of radiation from the 2011 accident are minimal compared to observable effects of stress and stigmatization on Fukushima residents. Exaggerated coverage of the leaks contributed to that stress, while expert information of relevance to the people of Fukushima received virtually no attention.

News providers need to be aware that their coverage can inadvertently exacerbate the psychological effects of a nuclear incident. Even though the information available is sometimes confusing, they should strive for context and avoid reliance on self-appointed experts with a determined agenda to spread fear. Advice from competent radiation professionals, such as UNSCEAR or national authorities in any given country, can provide the necessary context to understand the likely health and environmental impacts of an event. A firm line must be drawn between events with public impact and those such as the recent leaks which have no consequences beyond the plant perimeter. Nuclear industry communicators must do their part to explain the full context of safety-related events as well as the technical details.

Nuclear power plays a vital role in the mix of many countries today. It provides affordable, reliable and clean electricity to countries home to over two thirds of the world's population. The operation of these reactors has prevented approximately 1.84 million air pollution related deaths according to scientists James Hansen and Pushker Kharecha by averting dangerous emissions from other energy sources. This takes into account estimates for the impacts of nuclear accidents. It is extraordinary that these health benefits, as well as nuclear's low carbon credentials and established role in preventing climate change, seem to be entirely forgotten in the aftermath of the recent leaks which have led to no measurable health or environmental impact.

Download pdf

Contact:  Jeremy Gordon, gordon@world-nuclear.org, +44 (0) 20 7451 1544
 

 

WNA: Context is key to nuclear incident communication 

29 August 2013

"In Japan we have seen a nuclear incident turn into a communication disaster," said Agneta Rising, Director General of the World Nuclear Association. "Mistakes in applying and interpreting the INES scale have given it an exaggerated central role in coverage of nuclear safety."

A serious incident occurred last week when radioactive water leaked from a storage tank at Fukushima Daiichi. This was cleared up in a matter of days without evidence of any pollution reaching the sea, and comprehensive measures are being taken to prevent this happening again. However, news of the event has been badly confused due to poor application and interpretation of the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), which has led to enormous international concern as well as real economic impact.

INES ratings are intended for comparison of safety-related events at nuclear power plants in context, to draw distinction between events of real significance from lesser events. Repeated revisions by Japanese authorities have led to the opposite effect: giving the impression that INES is a 'nuclear threat level' that goes up and down to predict what might come next.

"This cannot continue: if it is to have any role in public communication, INES must only be used in conjunction with plain-language explanations of the public implications - if any - of an incident," said Rising.

WNA urges Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Authority to listen to the advice it has received from the International Atomic Energy Agency. "Frequent changes of rating will not help communicate the actual situation in a clear manner," said the IAEA in a document released by the NRA.

IAEA told Japan: "One possible communication strategy, rather than using the INES scale as a communication tool to rate each event in a series of similar events, would be to elaborate an appropriate communication plan to explain the safety significance of these types of event."

Since the leak was discovered, each announcement on INES ratings has been a new media event that implied a worsening situation. "This is a sad repeat of communication mistakes made during the Fukushima accident, when INES ratings were revised several times," said Rising. "This hurt the credibility of INES, the Japanese government and the entire nuclear sector - all while demoralising the Japanese people needlessly."

"INES will continue to be used while international agreements between countries using nuclear power and the IAEA continue, but it represents only one technical dimension of communication and that has now been debased. Priority must be given to the context of a nuclear safety-related event and a focus on its effects, or not, on the public," said Rising.

 

Download as pdf 

For further information please contact: Jeremy Gordon, gordon@world-nuclear.org, +44 (0) 207 451 1544

 

IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Safety

15 July 2013

The World Nuclear Association participated in the IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security that took place on 1-5 July in Vienna. WNA members share with governments a commitment to maintaining a high level of nuclear security and support non-proliferation objectives. WNA was instrumental in organizing the 2012 Nuclear Industry Summit in Seoul, and early in 2013, it was granted status as an Observer on the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee (NSGC). WNA will use the expertise residing within its 190 member-companies to provide industry perspective on the draft security guidelines developed at NSGC. It will further help to ensure that published guidance is implemented by industry, and that the role of NSGC is recognized internationally.

WNA welcomed the initiative of the IAEA to host the conference with a view to developing the next IAEA Nuclear Security Plan (2014-17). WNA believes this plan should offer scope for:

  • Greater harmonization between States in setting their security regulations, thus helping to remove the challenge for industry of concurrent compliance with differing regulations. 
  • A stakeholder forum involving international trade associations, international standards development organizations, and inter-governmental organizations to review and exchange information on good practice in the field of nuclear security; 
  • A standing invitation for representative international business associations to observe and make representations to the IAEA Nuclear Security Guidance Committee on the development of nuclear security implementing and technical guides; 
  • The encouragement of industry outreach and dialogue by regulatory bodies and state agencies of IAEA member states. 

A copy of the full WNA statement can be downloaded here.

 

WNA Annual Financial Statements

14 June 2013

The WNA Annual Financial Statements for 2012 were signed by the WNA Board of Management in April, having been prepared in accordance with applicable accounting standards and given a clean opinion by our auditor, Moore Stephens LLP. This occurred at the Board meeting that took place on 11 April 2013 alongside the WNFC conference in Singapore.

The financial statements will be presented at the Annual General Meeting on 11 September 2013.

WNA has received the following comments by Tom Ward, Partner, Moore Stephens LLP:

The World Nuclear University partnership has been managed by the WNA since its inception, though it has always been viewed as an independent organisation. All significant transaction processes (eg the running of the Summer Institute in Oxford) have been independently reviewed by the auditors of the WNA. All bank accounts pertaining to the WNU are held alongside bank accounts of the WNA in separately designated accounts (described as WNA Re: World Nuclear University) and details of balances had been confirmed to the auditors directly by the bank annually. My only criticisms are the lack of clarity over the structure of the WNU and that the WNA failed to charge the WNU for services it has provided to the WNU, in respect of the management of courses. We have identified no matters to indicate that there were any financial irregularities.

WNA was fully reimbursed for its work in administering the WNU in 2012 and WNA’s restructuring has brought management of WNU completely within WNA, settling these matters. 

 

Restructuring the WNA

3 April 2013

On taking up the post of Director General, Agneta Rising’s first priority was to reshape the WNA to more effectively and efficiently meet the evolving needs of WNA members.
The new DG worked together with the Chairman Tim Gitzel to evaluate WNA’s current position and determine the direction to take. With the staff’s expertise, experience and enthusiasm, they have developed the following structure:


WNA Structure



This structure clarifies the WNA’s current activities, and establishes new commitments and increased functions based on our members’ wishes.

 

 

The WNA Secretariat welcomes its new Director General

2 January 2013

Agneta Rising highlightAgneta Rising was appointed as Director General by the WNA Board of Management at the end of August 2012, and officially joined the Secretariat on 2 January 2013. Rising was previously with Vattenfall, where her career focused on radiological and environmental protection. She is already well-acquainted with the organization: in May 2000 she became chairman of the Uranium Institute, and presided over its transformation into the World Nuclear Association in 2001.

Rising said: “I am very excited about and dedicated to this work for the global nuclear industry. Going forward, the WNA team will focus its work on supporting the members, building confidence and increasing visibility of the nuclear industry.”