World Nuclear Association response to the IEA Nuclear Power and Secure Energy Transitions report

Issued 30 June 2022

Nuclear has an essential part to play in delivering a clean, affordable and secure energy future according to the International Energy Agency’s new report Nuclear Power and Secure Energy Transitions: From today’s challenges to tomorrow’s clean energy systems.

In this report, the IEA recognizes today’s essential contribution of nuclear energy as an established large-scale energy technology and the second largest source of low emissions power. The report concludes that nuclear energy can help the energy sector make the journey towards net-zero faster, more secure and more affordable. It also acknowledges how nuclear energy and other dispatchable power sources complement renewables by providing critical services that provide reliability and stability to electricity systems.

Responding to the report, Sama Bilbao y León, Director General of World Nuclear Association said,

“The IEA’s report is clear; a low-carbon, sustainable, affordable and secure energy future needs nuclear.”

At the same time, delivering new nuclear build at the speed and scale required will require action by governments, regulators, the nuclear industry and other key stakeholders. The IEA report makes the following recommendations;

  • Extending the operations of existing nuclear power plants to continue to deliver cost-effective low-carbon electricity generation.
  • Designing electricity markets to ensure nuclear power plants are compensated in a competitive and non-discriminatory manner for the avoidance of emissions and the services they provide to maintain electricity security.
  • Creating financing frameworks to support new reactors to mobilize capital for new plants at an acceptable cost.
  • Promoting efficient and effective safety regulation, including developing harmonized safety criteria for new designs.
  • Implement solutions for nuclear waste disposal.
  • Accelerate the development and deployment of small modular reactors, which could be a cost-effective low emissions source of electricity, heat and hydrogen.

Sama Bilbao y León said,

“Coordinated action is needed now to maintain our existing nuclear plants and to ramp up the deployment of new nuclear capacity worldwide. The nuclear industry is ready to rise to the challenge.”