Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm (in purple blazer) and the ANS-sponsored delegates pose in front of the Nuclear for Climate booth at COP27.
Nuclear energy is no longer on the fringes of the international climate conversation. At COP27, the United Nations climate change conference held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6 to 18, pronuclear advocates were everywhere—and they were talking to everyone. They populated the International Atomic Energy Agency’s #Atoms4Climate pavilion, the first-ever nuclear pavilion in the 27-year history of the negotiations. Echoing such strong representation, the final statement issued by the conference used language that included nuclear power.
Attendees at the Nuclear for Climate booth during the COP27 conference.
COP27, the 2022 United Nations climate change conference, is under way this week in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. A delegation from the American Nuclear Society has traveled there to participate in Nuclear for Climate’s #NetZeroNeedsNuclear advocacy campaign. Nuclear for Climate, cofounded by ANS, is a grassroots organization made up of nuclear professionals and scientists from over 150 associations worldwide.
Volunteers staff the Nuclear for Climate booth in the COP26 conference center. (Photo: Raquel Heredia Silva)
ANS sponsored 10 young nuclear professionals from the Young Generation Network, a branch of the U.K.’s Nuclear Institute, to attend COP26, the 2021 United Nations climate change conference, held in Glasgow, Scotland, where they helped deliver what was “by all accounts nuclear’s best representation at the COP ever,” according to George Burnett, one of four U.K.-based attendees sponsored by ANS.
U.K. government funding for nuclear research and innovation in advanced fuels and recycling is having a significant impact and reenergizing the U.K. research base.
Fig. 1. Geographical spread of U.K. organizations engaged in the U.K. AFCP, including a number of the world leading U.K. universities. Image: NNL
Called “the first significant public investment in a generation,” the U.K. Advanced Fuel Cycle Program (AFCP) is driving innovation to underpin future nuclear deployment in the United Kingdom. Led jointly by the U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), the program involves more than 40 U.K. organizations, including a number of world-leading U.K. universities (Fig. 1), and is working with international organizations across more than 10 countries, leveraging U.K. investment into more than £100 million in international programs.