Nuclear industry leads call for decisive action on climate

18 September 2018

The World Nuclear Association has appealed to the United Nations and the nuclear industry to take decisive action for clean energy. "I am running out of patience," said the organisation's head, Agneta Rising, "I want more action and I want nuclear energy to be part of the solution because we know there is no sustainable energy future without nuclear."

Agneta Rising speaking in Vienna today (Image: World Nuclear Association)

Rising was speaking at the Scientific Forum, a public conference taking place at the Vienna International Centre - the home of the International Atomic Energy Agency - alongside its 62nd General Conference taking place this week.

Rising added she was disappointed that on 10 September, at the UN General Assembly, Secretary General Antonio Guterres had called for the world to avoid the consequences of runaway climate change but had "failed to recognise nuclear energy as a vital component needed to achieve this".

Repeating the message of the International Energy Agency's executive director, Fatih Birol, at the ninth Clean Energy Ministerial meeting held in Copenhagen in May, that there is no sustainable energy future without nuclear energy, Rising said, "We know the things we need to do, but we are still talking and not taking action."

No country in the world has decarbonised without nuclear energy, Rising pointed out, adding that technological innovation and scientific development are important, but that it is also necessary to use what is available now.

Facing a global challenge, scalability of any solution is important: "If the world was as fast to deploy nuclear as Sweden was, we would reach decarbonised electricity in the world by 2040. If we were as fast as France, it would be 2050. If we would do as Germany is doing, it would go very slowly and plateau because they have not replaced fossil fuels with renewables but replaced nuclear with renewables."

In response to Guterres' omission of nuclear power’s ability to help address the climate change issue, she said: "Nuclear generation stands ready to help the world take a low-carbon path."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News