A group of six organizations have issued a statement to world leaders currently gathered at the G7 summit in Germany that highlights nuclear energy’s strengths in addressing the current global challenges of environmental sustainability and energy security and urges additional support.
In the June 24 statement, the Canadian Nuclear Association, Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Nuclear Energy Institute, Nuclear Industry Association, Nucleareurope (formerly Foratom), and World Nuclear Association write that nuclear is “an accessible, affordable, clean, and reliable solution for countries seeking to transition away [from] fossil fuels and achieve a just and equitable energy transition. The construction and operation of each nuclear power plant generates thousands of high-skilled jobs, supports the supply chain, and stimulates local economies. Beyond power generation, nuclear technologies have an enormous potential to decarbonize other sectors of the economy as well—transport, chemicals, and steel manufacturing, among others—through thermal supply and hydrogen production.”
Recommendations: The organizations’ call on G7 leaders to take the following actions:
- Maximize the contribution to decarbonization and energy security of nuclear reactors currently operating worldwide by incentivizing extending their operating life as much as feasible and support the restart of other operable reactors. According to the International Energy Agency, extending the operating life of existing reactors is the lowest-cost method of securing additional low-carbon electricity generation.
- Include nuclear energy in national and international green financing policy frameworks and put in place policies that clearly signal to the finance community that the nuclear industry is set to play a key role in the global fight against climate change in not only G7 countries but also developing economies that are seeking modern, innovative means to shift away from fossil fuels as their energy demand is set to dramatically increase.
- Commit to a greater contribution from nuclear technologies to future energy supply, setting ambitious goals for new nuclear capacity that are supported by pragmatic policy instruments and efficient regulatory frameworks.
- Support the development of new nuclear technologies, including small modular reactors and other advanced reactors that will expand the range of applications to which nuclear energy can be applied, to deliver deeper and broader decarbonization beyond the electricity generation sectors.