A round table called Nuclear energy: the energy of the future or the relic of the past? took place on the 19th of June in the framework of the IX International Forum ATOMEXPO-2017.

The round table was attended by prominent experts in the energy sector from more than ten countries, as well as Russian and foreign scientists and public officials.

Tom Blees, President of the Science Council for Global Initiatives (SCGI) moderated the disscusion. In his welcoming speech he drew the attention of the participants to the growing role of renewable energy sources (RES) and suggested they discuss the prospects of the nuclear energy sector in new conditions as well as potential synergy effects coming from the combination of nuclear generation and RES.

Several other experts confirmed that solar and wind energy are becoming more and more popular. At the same time Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Nuclear Energy Department said that comfortable use of RES is possible only if there is another stable source capable to function in base mode in the country.

Stepan Solzhenitsyn, Senior Partner in McKinsey&Company, noted that the use of only one type of energy belongs to the past. Today countries need to diversify their energy mix and to combine different sources of energy generation if they want to sustain a stable and secure global energy balance.

Evgeny Adamov, Head of the project direction Proryv (Breakthrough), Scientific Advisor in JSC NIKIET and  member of the Russian Academy of Engineering is convinced that nuclear energy itself is a renewable energy source. «Before we hasten to reject the nuclear energy it is important to assess all the risks, and it is of crucial importance to calculate the costs caused by such decision», - underlined Evgeny Adamov.

During the discussion devoted to the advantages of solar, wind and water energy use Kristiina S?derholm, Head of Nuclear R&D in Fortum, highlighted that nuclear energy is forging ahead. She also touched upon the theme of small nuclear power reactors use. This type of reactors needs less time to be constructed, their prime cost is lower and they can be upgraded. According to Kristiina S?derholm small nuclear power reactors appeared on the global market not long ago, that's why there is a number of questions which should be solved immediately. The expert also mentioned the growing need for transparency in licensing small nuclear power reactors projects. A great number of regulators have their own requirements which are not unified and are not always clear», - she said.

Evgeny Pakermanov, President of Rusatom Overseas, said that rapid development of RES is a sign of forthcoming changes in the global energy sector: nuclear energy will — together with RES — become one of the foundations for low-carbon economy. The next step will consist of technological developments allowing to construct accident-resistant reactors with inherent safety which will ensure uninterrupted energy supply for future generations.

All the speakers underlined that it is very important to effectively combine nuclear generation and  RES, which will allow to guarantee stable funtioning of national energy systems, affordable cost of electrical power and minimum environmental impact.

For reference:

ATOMEXPO-2017 IX International Forum in Moscow has gathered 6.5 thousand participants from 65 countries, including Russia and four countries that take part in the Forum for the first time: Colombia, Sudan, Sri-Lanka and Ethiopia. The Forum is attended by 33 official governmental delegations from different countries of the world, as well as 100 companies from the global nuclear industry and associated industries. The business programme of the Forum envisages 13 round tables on relevant topics. The main theme of the Forum this year is Nuclear Technologies: Safety, Environment, Sustainability.