Podcast: Urenco’s Boris Schucht on the potential of next gen reactors

01 July 2022

Urenco CEO Boris Schucht explains the impact of current world events on the uranium enrichment sector and outlines the challenges that need to be overcome to unlock the climate, and energy security benefits of new nuclear technologies. Plus John Lindberg on Sweden’s nuclear power sector and the possible impact of the forthcoming elections, and a round-up of the main nuclear news in June.



Boris Schucht worked across a number of energy companies in Europe, including being CEO of 50 Hertz, the transmission system operator in Northeastern Germany, before taking up his current role with Urenco in 2019. He says he has always been a strong supporter and advocate for the energy transition and, as a trained nuclear engineer, he describes joining Urenco as going back to his roots.

During a wide-ranging interview he talks about the current geopolitical situation and says that events in Ukraine have led countries to remember the value of energy independence, with short-term and longer-term impacts on the industry.

The future for the nuclear sector is bright, says Schucht, with nuclear a "fuel that can help us reach net-zero" including with the production of hydrogen to decarbonise sectors where you can’t easily use electricity, such as steel production. These benefits can be driven by the large numbers of new generation reactors, including many small modular reactors, in development but challenges remain.

Boris_Schucht_Urenco.jpg(Image: Urenco)

Schucht says he hopes that for small modular reactors, industry regulators around the world can move from an "airports to a planes model" - saying that while each airport needs its own regulatory and planning process a plane, once approved, can be mass produced and fly to and from countries around the world.

He also outlines the success of the medical isotopes business, a market where Russia has also had a big share. And looking forward to 2060, he says nuclear will play a key role alongside renewables in a carbon-free energy mix.

The WNN News round-up for June

In the news round-up for the month Claire Maden and Warwick Pipe join host Alex Hunt to discuss the progress at Barakah 3 in the UAE, Poland’s steps towards getting nuclear power plants, as well as an EDF study suggesting nuclear’s life-cycle carbon emissions are lower than previously estimated. And we report on the USA’s Nuclear Energy Institute’s President Maria Korsnick’s keynote conference speech where she said the main challenge now "isn’t a lack of demand, it’s being able to build fast enough to keep up with the demand".

In Focus: Nuclear Power in Sweden

John Linberg runs through the unique history of the nuclear sector in Sweden and sets out the current state of the industry. He also looks ahead to the forthcoming elections in the country and considers what impact nuclear might have on the voters, and what impact the voters might have on future nuclear policy.

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Researched and written by World Nuclear News