Welcome Address – William D. Magwood, IV

Dear colleagues,

Some three years after the Paris agreement, the path towards a low-carbon energy future remains unclear. Meeting the goals that many countries have set for themselves will mean substantially reducing the carbon intensity of the electric power sector by as much as a factor of ten. At the same time, the increasing electrification of industry, transport and buildings will only further reinforce the central role of electricity generation. It will be crucial that the increasing amounts of electricity being used come from clean-energy sources.

We have at our disposal technically mature, low-carbon alternatives − including solar and wind technology, hydroelectricity and nuclear power − to help countries reach their environmental and energy security goals. Reaching these goals will require us to use all of these low carbon resources in an economically sound manner. We shouldn’t close the door to any technology. And as an established technology, nuclear power has been demonstrated to be a reliable source of baseload electricity. Nuclear power is complementary to renewable technologies, mitigating risks related to their intermittence and contributing to a decarbonised and more secure electricity system. At the same time, creating the necessary drivers for innovation in nuclear technology is one of the most important conditions for nuclear energy to adapt to today’s challenging market conditions and play this role in the sustainable energy mix of the future.

Nuclear power’s future will require innovation if it is to be part of the clean and secure energy mixes the world needs. This will require significant infrastructure, including experimental capacities and high-level skills. We will need scientists, engineers and technologists to support the safe, secure and sustainable use of nuclear energy. We therefore need to nurture the next generation of nuclear experts. The NEA, as a knowledge-based organisation, is helping its member states to address these challenges.

The NEA has recognised the importance of the annual ATOMEXPO forum. Our regular participation is in keeping with the longstanding NEA mission to foster international co-operation; the topic of this year’s forum, “Nuclear for better life”, is at the heart of what we do. We look forward to seeing you there.


William D. Magwood, IV
NEA Director-General

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