U.S. and France commit to “common ambition” on advanced nuclear

June 2, 2021, 3:12PMNuclear News

U.S. energy secretary Jennifer Granholm and French minister for the ecological transition Barbara Pompili issued a joint statement on May 28 in which they pledged to work together to meet shared climate goals.

“France and the United States share common goals and common resolve in fighting climate change and working toward reaching the ambitious target set forth by the Paris agreement,” the statement read. “We are united in a common ambition on both sides of the Atlantic: achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Reaching this common objective will require leveraging all currently existing emission-free technologies available to us while simultaneously intensifying research, development, and deployment across a suite of zero-emissions energy sources and systems. Ensuring that these energy systems are efficient and reliable, integrating larger shares of renewables coupled with nuclear energy, which is a significant part of today’s electricity production in both our countries, will be crucial to accelerate energy transitions. Reaching this common objective will also require a wide variety of favorable financing conditions across the range of zero-emitting power sources and systems.”

Decarbonizing with advanced nuclear: Both France and the United States see the potential to pair advanced nuclear reactors in a range of sizes with industrial applications, including the production of hydrogen and drinking water.

“In this respect, France and the United States commit to work together on new technologies and the ongoing energy transition in order to contribute significantly to zero-carbon generation solutions,” Granholm and Pompili stated. “Decarbonized and innovative electricity systems, which may include innovative nuclear energy technologies or new designs, such as small modular, micro, and other advanced reactors, will contribute to an expansion of renewable energy, support rural electrification, produce hydrogen to decarbonize transportation and other energy sectors, help provide drinking water to water-stressed regions, and support a range of cleaner industrial applications. We are committed to turning the threat posed by climate change into an opportunity to revitalize the energy sector and to pioneer clean industries and technologies.”

Granholm confirms: “As leading innovators, the United States and France are taking intensified action toward an irreversible path to a net-zero economy by 2050,” Granholm added in a separate statement. “We urgently need to bring innovative solutions that can be deployed around the world, leveraging all of our zero-emitting generation technologies, like nuclear, renewable energy, and carbon capture, utilization, and storage.”

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