OECD sets Roadmaps to New Nuclear Industry
Global representatives of the nuclear industry in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations, we have gathered in Paris, France on September 28-29, 2023, for the inaugural Government-Industry “Roadmaps to New Nuclear” conference organized by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the Government of France. We recognize that we are at a critical juncture in terms of climate and energy security, and nuclear energy must play an essential role—alongside other clean energy technologies—if we are to meet this moment.
The urgency and magnitude of the challenge before us is real and the speed and scale of the response must match this task. Building on the collaboration in April in Sapporo, Japan, during the G7 Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers meeting and Business Forum, we stand ready to work together with policymakers to rebuild leadership in nuclear energy within OECD countries and to cooperate with other like-minded nations as they seek to meet their climate and energy security goals.
World Nuclear Association is the international organisation that represents the global nuclear industry. Its mission is to promote a wider understanding of nuclear energy among key international influencers by producing authoritative information, developing common industry positions, and contributing to the energy debate, as well as to pave the way for expanding nuclear business.
To support decarbonization at the magnitude required, the international community must work to extend the operating period of existing nuclear generation resources, develop policies and tools to enable large scale deployment of new nuclear energy generation, and accelerate the development of a new portfolio of reactor technologies. We are ready to do our part to bolster and strengthen leadership of like-minded OECD economies. Success will require a deepening of cooperation with governments, international organizations and across the industry, including public-private partnerships, international partnerships, and partnerships across the nuclear supply chain and with other industries.
We, the undersigned associations representing the nuclear industry stand ready, with our members, to work with governments to:
- Extend the operating period of existing nuclear generation resources for as long as is feasible. This includes supporting the restart of operable reactors and encouraging efficient safety reviews.
- Drive rapid and significant reductions in construction costs and timelines of nuclear energy by leveraging lessons learned from recent nuclear new build projects.
- Accelerate the deployment of small modular reactors and advanced reactors, alongside large nuclear reactors, to unlock large-scale deployment in the 2030s and support decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors.
- Deepen international cooperation for the development of the nuclear supply chain and its workforce and to explore options to better ensure capabilities and resources in key strategic areas
- Develop nuclear fuel supply chain capacity and promote cooperation with likeminded nations who seek to end reliance on civil nuclear fuel and related goods from nations that present ongoing geopolitical threats to energy security.
- Advance sustainability principles including the circular economy in the nuclear sector through responsible use of nuclear technology and life-cycle management of nuclear materials.
- Promote an inclusive and diverse nuclear industry, including in the areas of gender diversity, building on the 2023 OECD Recommendation on Improving the Gender Balance in the Nuclear Sector.
Expert analyses from NEA and others all point toward the need to triple global installed nuclear capacity by 2050. To meet this climate target, we call on:
- Policymakers to foster a financial environment that promotes investment in nuclear energy, including the development of market mechanisms to encourage deployment at scale of first-of-a-kind technologies.
- Regulators to modernize regulatory frameworks to license nuclear technologies efficiently, including advanced technologies, and to increase cooperation to reduce regulatory barriers to deployment of technologies in multiple countries, including in embarking countries.
- Governments to develop technology-neutral climate policies in which nuclear energy is fairly compensated for its low-carbon, resilience, and reliability value.
- The 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to take action to ensure we succeed in meeting our collective climate goals and to recognize the important role that nuclear energy will play in meeting these goals.
- World leaders at COP28 to ensure that nuclear energy has access to climate finance equal to other clean energy sources, including climate finance from multilateral development banks and international finance institutions.
In closing, we thank the NEA and France for organizing the first edition of the Government-Industry “Roadmaps to New Nuclear” conference.
We thank Governments for their support and commitments, particularly in the areas of enabling policy frameworks, nuclear financing, and security of nuclear fuel supply as outlined in the Joint Communiqué issued by the countries present today. We echo the call by Governments for the NEA to develop options to strengthen international cooperation in these areas.
The nuclear industry is already taking action to strengthen supply chains, expand the workforce and increase the security of nuclear fuel supply, but more action is needed to achieve our shared vision of nuclear energy’s role in meeting climate and energy security imperatives. The nuclear industry will continue to seek opportunities to work individually and collectively to reinforce international nuclear cooperation across the nuclear industry.
The time to act is now, the communiqué concluded.