Nuclear power has had more prominence at this year’s climate talks than at any previous COP. In fact, some people have even been calling it “the nuclear COP”.
That’s partly because the hosts, the United Arab Emirates, have been a pioneer of nuclear power in the Gulf region, building four reactors to meet 25 per cent of its electricity demand. At this year’s COP, 24 governments set a goal to triple worldwide nuclear power generation capacity by 2050. To discuss the implications of this pledge and analyse the current state of the nuclear industry globally, Ed Crooks is joined by Henri Paillere, who is head of the planning and economic studies section at the International Atomic Agency. He says there is now a much wider appreciation of the central role that nuclear power can play in tackling climate change.
Nuclear technology is also seen as offering some big commercial opportunities. The EX-IM Bank, the US export – import bank, recently launched a package of measures intended to support sales of US Small Modular reactors – SMRs. Reta Lewis, chair of the Ex-Im bank came to the COP and spoke to the Energy Gang, to highlight the bank’s support for SMR investment around the world.
SMRs are expected to play a key role in the future of nuclear energy, as Dr Sama Bilbao y Leon, who is the director-general of the World Nuclear Association, which represents the international nuclear industry, said when she joined Ed in the studio.
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