- Crucial role of nuclear energy sector in meeting global energy demands and sustainable development goals highlighted at day one of International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – 30 October 2017: Nuclear energy drives global economic growth, supports sustainable development and is helping to meet growing worldwide energy demands - that was the key message on day one of the International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century, currently being held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Over 700 nuclear energy leaders and experts have convened in the UAE capital to assess the latest trends in the industry and propose new strategies to tackle energy challenges faced across the globe.
The importance of international collaboration featured prominently throughout day one of the event, which featured nuclear energy leaders and delegations from the U.S.A., Russia, China, France, South Africa, India, South Korea and many others. The experts addressed on the first day how nuclear energy can help power modern economies with a reliable supply of baseload electricity, while helping them reach their goals to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The event is also examining the challenges to wider implementation of nuclear energy, including cost, policy and public acceptance.
H.E. Suhail Al Mazroui, Minister of Energy and Industry for the UAE, commented: “The United Arab Emirates is committed to using nuclear energy to materialize our national developmental needs. The UAE Vision 2021 is our roadmap towards the future and it is a strong enabler of the Sustainable Development Goals such as ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.”
“Since embarking on the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program almost ten years ago, our nation has made great strides and achieved significant steps in the development of its nuclear energy program and related infrastructure, following International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) guidance and international best practices. These steps include the establishment of an independent and competent regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR). The UAE nuclear industry, led by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and its subsidiaries will continue developing a world-class nuclear energy program and will soon operate and maintain the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in line with the highest international standards,” concluded H.E. Suhail Al Mazroui.
H.E. Ambassador Hamad Alkaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the IAEA and President of the Conference, commented: “It is a great privilege to welcome some of the world's most important nuclear energy players to the International Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi. This week is an opportunity to understand how we can continue improving and developing the sector and find smarter and more efficient ways of investing in nuclear energy. The UAE has had strong support from the IAEA to help develop a nuclear energy infrastructure and human capacity. We need to continue raising awareness on the importance of the sector and we have seen high ratings for favorability in our nation. We will continue working with the international community to ensure the highest standards of safety and quality are met.”
Day one of the Conference included a series of presentations from H.E. Ambassador AlKaabi, Michael Shellenburger, an environmental policy expert and American author, Agneta Rising, Director General of World Nuclear Association (WNA) and Wang Shoujun, Chairman of China Nuclear Corporation, amongst others.
Christer Viktorsson, FANR, Director General commented: “This is one of the most important platforms for the nuclear energy industry and is a significant opportunity for us to learn and exchange knowledge. Being able to learn from the experiences of leading countries from around the world brings great benefits to us as we move forward with the development of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program.”
ENEC CEO, Eng. Mohamed Al Hammadi commented: “Nuclear energy provides 11% of the world's electricity, while emitting virtually no greenhouse gases. The sector has brought many economic benefits to our nation as already more than 1,400 UAE-based companies have been contracted for the delivery of products and services for the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, with contracts worth over US $3.3 billion. The International Ministerial Conference gives us a great opportunity to collectively engage in high-level discussion on how we can meet future energy demands through peaceful nuclear energy. We want to ensure that as an industry we continue contributing to sustainable development, as well as driving economic growth and creating highly-skilled jobs for a talented workforce.”
It was also announced that the UAE is set to establish a ‘Collaborating Center' with the IAEA at Khalifa University for Science and Technology & Research (KUSTAR), Abu Dhabi. The agreement marks the beginning of a four-year period of close cooperation between Khalifa University and the IAEA on implementing activities in the field of nuclear power infrastructure and human resource development. In particular, Khalifa University will support IAEA activities on enhancing Member States' capabilities in building and assessing the infrastructure required for a nuclear power program, as well as developing critical competencies required for infrastructure development.