“Unrealistic” to do without nuclear power, according to the head of the IAEA

With the energy crisis linked to the war in Ukraine, the atom is experiencing renewed interest.

It would be “unrealistic“To hope to limit global warming without resorting to nuclear energy, insisted Thursday, November 10, 2022 the boss of the International Atomic Energy Agency during an interview with AFP, acknowledging however that this was not aMagic wand“. With the energy crisis linked to the war in Ukraine, the atom is experiencing renewed interest.

It’s not a tidal wave, but it’s a clear sign that countries are looking at nuclear energy with interest, and some of them are investing or reinvesting in nuclearcommented Rafael Grossi at COP27 in Egypt, where the nuclear lobby is clearly present to promote this carbon-free energy.

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“A global phenomenon”

We are not saying that nuclear is indispensable, or a magic wand to solve this problem“, he notes. But “take out of the equation“this source of energy”would be unrealistic“.

The question is: how much more? How fast? And can we do it?“, he launches, underlining the interest in many countries of the world, from France to the United States, from China to India, from South Africa to Eastern Europe. “So it’s a global phenomenon and that’s where the IAEA comes in: how to do it safely“.

While many opponents of nuclear, including in the community of climate defenders divided on this subject, highlight the risks of accidents, he rejected these arguments, underlining the “strong safety recordof civil nuclear power compared to other technologies.

“Nuclear is not the only solution”

I don’t want this to be misinterpreted or seen as a trivialization of what happened in Chernobyl in 1986 or Fukushima in 2011“, he insists, pointing out that “we are not avoiding this discussion” and “let’s learn the lessons” death “two traumatic accidents that shouldn’t have happened“.

Faced with science which clearly states that we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030, Rafael Grossi also rejected the arguments saying that with the delay in the construction of power plants, the use of this energy would arrive too late.

There have been cases, quite scandalous, of overruns in the duration of the construction of nuclear power plants“, he notes, but”on average», «it’s more like seven or even six years“. But “nuclear is not the only solution“, he believes, highlighting renewable energies. “From the perspective of the IAEA, it takes a happy combination of the best available technologies in the long term.“.

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