This September, I was fortunate to be in Vienna as a delegate to the 67th International Atomic Energy Agency’s General Conference. I will admit, it was strange at first to be in another country while listening to the U.S. Departments of State, Energy, and Commerce all discuss the positive aspects of nuclear and its international influence, but it was a great experience, especially hearing firsthand the enthusiasm of the secretary of energy.
Delegations from Ghana and the Philippines provided an excellent perspective from countries new to nuclear and embracing it. The Philippines’ representative spoke of the many islands that currently depend on diesel generators to provide power, and the need to replace them. A microreactor would be able to replace the generators and provide clean energy for decades. He also talked about how his country had to ship raw metal ore to China for smelting, and how a larger nuclear plant provides the power to smelt their own ore, improving their market. The Ghanian delegation spoke of their interest in nuclear power and small modular reactor technology and how they believe SMRs will provide their industries with safe, reliable power.