The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) wants to participate in some events at the upcoming COP26 world climate conference. She wants to discuss the advantages of nuclear technology in-depth, as stated in an IAEA communication.
COP26 starts in Glasgow in two days. It is made up of various individual events, some of which the IAEA organizes or intends to take part in. She wants to emphasize how nuclear power can help tackle climate change, writes the IAEA. For example, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi wants to talk to the journalist Gillian Tett from the Financial Times discuss whether and how the world can manage to overcome the climate and energy supply crisis.
Another event is about the role of young people on the way to climate neutrality. It is intended to discuss ways of attracting young people to nuclear sciences and technology, including research into nuclear fusion. The IAEA boss wants to honor the winners of the international competition “Net Zero Challenge” of his organization. Among other things, young people should answer the question of how nuclear power can help their country or region to decarbonise the economy.
Nuclear power is increasingly in the discussion
In recent times, nuclear power has been increasingly involved in the discussion about replacing fossil fuels. In March of this year, seven EU member states applied to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for the promotion of nuclear power. Including France, whose President Emmanuel Macron recently also issued “mini-nuclear power plants” as part of the strategy to make his country climate neutral. Last week von der Leyen announced that nuclear power would be taken into account in the forthcoming proposal of its commission for the classification of technologies (taxonomy) as sustainable.
In Germany, the last remaining nuclear reactors will be shut down by the end of next year. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is now involved as an investor in, among other things, new nuclear power technology, gave way in a recent interview with the Handelsblatt largely based on the question of whether he considers this German step to be a mistake. Shutting down the nuclear power plant makes it more difficult to ensure security of supply and low prices, said Gates.
Electricity demand will increase dramatically as more and more fossil fuels are replaced, said Gates. Therefore, the reliability of the power supply is central. Renewable energies were not enough as long as there was no “miraculous breakthrough” in electricity storage. Gates advocates being impartial about the technology of fourth-generation reactors – which he is helping to finance – for five years until a first test power plant is completed in the USA.