Global Nuclear Energy Leaders to Convene in Abu Dhabi for International Ministerial Conference


Global nuclear energy experts and leaders are gathering in Abu Dhabi, on Monday, for the International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century. Organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD/NEA), and hosted by the UAE Ministry of Energy and Industry, the conference convenes every four years and will discuss trends, challenges and opportunities in developing peaceful nuclear energy.

The event will focus on the role of the nuclear energy sector in meeting global energy demands, contributing to sustainable development goals and mitigating climate change. With thirty countries across the world currently operating nuclear energy plants, and another thirty countries considering or preparing to introduce peaceful nuclear energy into their energy mix, the importance and benefits of nuclear energy are already acknowledged around the world.

Ministerial-level participants will deliver national statements related to nuclear energy, analyzing their countries’ energy strategies and vision for the future role of the industry. They will also focus on challenges for introducing, maintaining or expanding nuclear energy and expectations within the international community.

H.E. Ambassador Hamad Alkaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the IAEA, President of the Conference, commented: “We are proud to welcome the world’s high level delegates and experts in nuclear energy to the UAE capital. This will be an excellent opportunity for the global nuclear sector to emphasize the contribution of nuclear power and analyze new developments and trends related to nuclear energy. We will discuss innovation in nuclear technology and the necessity to adapt diverse energy portfolio where nuclear energy plays an important role. The conference will also address the importance of international cooperation that is required to develop capacity for sustainable management of nuclear power in a growing number of countries. We also look forward to highlighting the strong UAE-IAEA successful partnership.”

The conference will consist of a plenary session at which national statements will be delivered and special presentations on innovative ideas from world-renowned personalities. There will also be four panel sessions with a keynote speech followed by round-table discussions among internationally recognized experts, as well as a side event that focuses on the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program featuring senior officials from IAEA, the UAE Ministry of Energy, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), Nawah Energy Company (Nawah) and Barakah One Company (BOC).

Yukiya Amano, Director General of the IAEA commented: “In order to meet the world’s growing energy needs in future, we will need to make optimal use of all the sources of energy available. It is clear that renewables such as wind and solar power will play an increasingly important role. However, more use of nuclear power will be needed to provide the steady supply of baseload electricity to power modern economies if countries are to meet the goals for greenhouse gas emissions which they set for themselves in the Paris Agreement.”

“I expect very interesting discussions on the future of nuclear power at this conference and I am pleased to see so many high-level participants. I believe this reflects a growing awareness among governments that nuclear science and technology have a great deal to offer in addressing some of the key challenges of the 21st century, including in the energy field,” he concluded.

The Conference will focus on the challenges in developing nuclear power infrastructure, including financing and public acceptance for nuclear energy programs. It will also highlight current interest in nuclear energy, especially in newcomer and expanding countries, with an emphasis on the IAEA’s Milestones approach, and the fact that embarking on or reviving a viable peaceful nuclear program requires a sound infrastructure with a large variety of competencies.