World Nuclear Association Chair, Jean-Jacques Gautrot, speaking at the Nuclear Africa conference, said:
"COP 21 must conclude with agreement on serious guidelines to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally. Failure could mean the 2 degrees target becomes an impossible objective."
World Nuclear Association (WNA) applauds news of a Royal Commission to assess whether South Australia should expand the role of nuclear energy, as announced on Sunday (8 February) by state Premier Jay Weatherill. This will lead to an objective assessment of the facts about nuclear energy and should identify the most realisable economic opportunities on offer to South Australia – and indeed the country – as well as formally recognise the immense greenhouse gas saving contribution that the technology is capable of making.
Agneta Rising WNA Director General commented: “It is only natural that a technologically sophisticated country like Australia should seek to make expanded use of the nuclear fuel cycle as it attempts to address its climate and energy challenges. The country is already home to at least one of the most advanced nuclear research and medical facilities in the world, not to mention being one of the largest suppliers of uranium.”
Despite this commendable technical and industrial heritage, the country currently makes no use of nuclear energy to generate electricity, with a law in place prohibiting this. The Royal Commission presents the chance to dispense with this fundamentally outdated and unscientific policy forever. About two-thirds of the world's population live in countries which are supplied by nuclear energy and which enjoy reliable, affordable low-emission electricity as a result.
The global nuclear industry stands ready to support the expansion of fuel-cycle activities within South Australia, and especially a reactor program. Australia's well-equipped political, legal and educational structures mean that any such program could be started swiftly – with the support of experienced international partners. This would act as a growth engine for local and regional economies where facilities are sited, creating employment and business opportunities over many decades.
The World Nuclear Association is the international organization that promotes nuclear energy and supports the many companies that comprise the global nuclear industry.
WNA arose on the foundations of the Uranium Institute, established in London in 1975 as a forum on the market for nuclear fuel. In 2001, spurred by the expanding prospects for nuclear power, the UI changed its name and mandated itself to build a wider membership and a greater diversity of activities. The goal was to develop a truly global organization geared to perform a full range of international roles to support the nuclear industry in fulfilling its enormous growth potential in the 21st Century.
Since WNA’s creation in 2001, the effort to build and diversify has born fruit. WNA membership has expanded three-fold to encompass (i) virtually all world uranium mining, conversion, enrichment and fuel fabrication; (ii) all reactor vendors; (iii) major nuclear engineering, construction, and waste management companies; and (iv) nearly 90% of world nuclear generation. Other WNA members provide international services in nuclear transport, law, insurance, brokerage, industry analysis and finance.
WNA will remain a work in progress. Its rapid growth reflects recognized value and represents major advance in building toward universal industry membership. Today WNA serves its membership, and the world nuclear industry as a whole, through actions to:
- Provide a global forum for sharing knowledge and insight on evolving industry developments
- Strengthen industry operational capabilities by advancing best-practice internationally
- Speak authoritatively for the nuclear industry in key international forums
- Improve the international policy and public environment in which the industry operates
An overarching WNA purpose is to foster interaction among top industry leaders to help shape the future of nuclear power. Led by senior industry executives, the WNA Board sets priorities, budgets and fees to support a diversity of WNA activities, including more than a dozen industry Working Groups, which are staffed by a small London-based secretariat. All WNA activities focus on objectives outside the scope of national associations, intergovernmental organizations and the industry’s reactor safety organization, WANO. WNA roles thus complete the mosaic of nuclear industry support.
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