KOLKATA: Russia will host a high-level ministerial conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) between June 27 and 29, 2013. To be held in the Russia's historic city St. Petersburg, the conference will be attended by leading international nuclear experts, dozens of nuclear companies, Govternment representatives from various countries. The main topic of discussion will be the role of nuclear power in mitigating the effects of climate change and how to meet the growing global demand for energy.
"The conference in Russia may become a turning point in the global nuclear power industry." said Yukiya Amano, Director General, IAEA in a release. In the conference, he plans to speak on how the industry plans to move forward now, in light of the 2011 accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan.
The IAEA chief visited Russia recently to see for himself the preparation for the upcoming high level conference.
Amano said in the release: "By 2030, nuclear power generation, as a percentage of the world's total energy generating capacity, will grow by at least 23%, and according to the most optimistic projections, it will double. Two years have passed since the events in Japan, and more and more new countries are declaring their readiness to build nuclear power plants".
According to the IAEA, the world's total nuclear power capacity could grow by 80-90 GW in the foreseeable future. Currently the world's 194 nuclear power plants operate with 437 units and have a total generating capacity of 372 GW.
One of the important themes of the conference will be the prospects for nuclear power generation in the context of the so-called "shale gas revolution" and the development of renewable energy sources.
The IAEA believes that neither alternative energy generation nor shale gas will be able to oust nuclear power generation from the global energy balance. Of course, the share of renewable energy in the world's total generating capacity will increase, and that certainly has its advantages. Major disadvantages of renewable energy are its high cost and the inability to use it to provide primary generating capacities.
During his trip to Russia Amano visited different nuclear facilities, including tests of additional equipment at the Kalinin nuclear power plant, where stress tests were being performed. Amano expressed his utmost satisfaction with the new Russian nuclear technology.
Duncan Hawthorne, President of the World Association of Nuclear Operators ( WANO) in one of his remarks said, "The global nuclear power industry today is in need of the advice and assistance of Russian nuclear scientists".
Rosatom, the state nuclear energy corporation of Russia has already received orders for the construction of 19 nuclear power units in various countries of the world and by 2030, this portfolio is expected to grow to the worth of US $80 billion.