As many as 60 countries are now considering nuclear power as part of their future energy mix, while 20 of them might have a nuclear power programme in place by 2030, according to the IAEA´s Nuclear Energy Department. Many of these states are turning to the IAEA for help to assess their energy needs and possibly develop a national policy for nuclear power.
IAEA´s Deputy Director General of Nuclear Energy Yury Sokolov said, “Over the next two years, the IAEA is expected to assist 38 national and six regional nuclear programmes, a three-fold increase from the previous reported period,”
In opening the workshop dedicated to IAEA tools developed to help member states with their energy planning assessments, Sokolov stressed that countries should have a holistic approach and a long-term commitment while designing national nuclear power programme. This approach includes both nuclear infrastructure as well as energy planning and nuclear energy system assessment.
“A national energy policy should involve a proper assessment of a country’s energy needs. Based on this analysis, nuclear power’s role can be defined,” he said.
“Nuclear power is a 100-year-long commitment and its sustainability, taking into account both natural and human resources together with the other aspects, should be considered.”
Global demand for energy is expected to continue to increase significantly as countries everywhere seek to improve living standards, with most of this growth predicted to come from developing countries. They represent a major target for the IAEA’s activity in this area.
“The aim of the IAEA´s Technical Cooperation (TC) project on promoting technology development and application of future nuclear energy systems in developing countries is to enable developing countries to assess nuclear technologies and create a forum between the countries and technology suppliers,” says IAEA’s Ivan Videnovic, Programme Management Officer of TC.
“Starting with national sustainable development plans, the workshop for the first time presents an integrated view on two planning steps: energy planning and nuclear energy system assessments, including the corresponding Agency tools and support for Member States´ decision-making for both steps,” said Peter J. Gowin, INPRO Programme Liaison Officer and Technical Officer of the TC project.
Fifty experts from over 40 countries took part in the Workshop on IAEA Tools for Nuclear Energy System Assessment (NESA) for Long-Term Planning and Development. The event was being held at the IAEA´s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, from 20 to 23 July, 2009.