25 Feb 2019

Nuclear power in a clean energy system

Workshop — Paris, France

Background

The International Energy Agency (IEA), which has been recognised as the global energy authority, advocates policies to enhance the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy in its 30 member countries and beyond.  The IEA covers the full spectrum of energy, including oil, gas and coal supply and demand, renewable energy, electricity markets, energy efficiency and all key energy technologies including nuclear power.

The IEA is preparing a special report, “Nuclear Power in a Clean Energy System” which will be launched at the 10th Clean Energy Ministerial meeting to be held in Vancouver, Canada in May 2019.  To provide input for this special report, the IEA hosted this workshop.

Since its initial commercial use in the 1950s, nuclear power has become an important part of the global energy landscape, now supplying 10 percent of the world’s electricity. It has been a leading low-carbon source of electricity (alongside hydropower), helping to avoid more than 1 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions per year on average.

However, the future role of nuclear power in advanced economies is uncertain. 

On the one hand, the fleet of existing plants is ageing – over three-quarters are more than 25 years old – and a wave of retirements is potentially on the horizon. Though lifetime extensions are a potential option, these plants are challenged by heightened safety requirements, policy constraints and, in some markets, economic pressures and public opposition. As for new reactors, there are few under construction in advanced economies and prospects for further policy support is uncertain, especially as the falling costs of renewables has shifted the attention of policymakers.

On the other hand, nuclear can play an important role in fighting climate change. It already helps to reduce a large amount of CO2 emissions. Moreover, most analyses on the low carbon transition, including those of the IEA, emphasize the expanding role of nuclear in a clean energy system.

The future of nuclear production in advanced economies raises a number of questions for policymakers: What is the outlook for existing nuclear power? How long can existing plants be expected to remain in the market under current economic conditions? How can and should nuclear plants contribute to overarching environmental, policy and energy independence goals and what policies or measures are being used to ensure they do so? Will nuclear plants find new life as a flexible resource to offset the varying output from rapidly growing wind and solar power? What investment models for new nuclear plants can be put in place given the financial risks? What risk mitigation strategies might be reasonable and sustainable?

This workshop brought together technical experts, policymakers, academics, and other thought leaders to discuss the future of nuclear power in clean energy systems.

Agenda and Presentations

08:30    Registration

09:15    Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA

09:20    Special Address

  • Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman and CEO, Électricité de France (Special address)

09:30    THE OUTLOOK FOR NUCLEAR POWER IN ADVANCED ECONOMIES

  • Johan Svenningsson, CEO and Country Chairman, Uniper Sweden
  • Peter Kaderják, Minister of State, Energy and Climate Policy, Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Hungary (Presentation )
  • Shin Hosaka, Deputy Commissioner, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, Japan (Presentation)
  • René Neděla, Deputy Minister of Energy, Czech Republic (Presentation)
  • Ted Garrish, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, Department of Energy, United States


11:15    Special Address

  • Michał Kurtyka Secretary of State, Ministry of the Environment, Poland

11:45    ECONOMIC POSITION OF EXISTING NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS IN TODAY’S ELECTRICITY MARKETS

  • Ted Garrish, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, Department of Energy, United States 
  • Gerassimos Thomas, Deputy Director-General for Energy, European Commission (Presentation)
  • Hideki Masui, Deputy Chief Nuclear Officer, Tokyo Electric Power (Presentation)
  • Mats Ladeborn, Vice President, Fleet Development, Vattenfall (Presentation)
  • Lara Pierpoint, Sr Fundamental Program Strategy Manager, Corporate Strategy, Exelon (Presentation)

12:45    Lunch

  • Hosted by the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Mr. Petr Gandalovič


13:45    FLEXIBILITY OF NUCLEAR POWER IN A CLEAN ENERGY SYSTEM

  • William D. Magwood, IV, Director-General, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (Presentation)
  • Fabien Roques, Executive VP, Compass Lexecon (Presentation)
  • Alena Žáková, Director of International Energy Relations, Ministry of Economy, Slovak Republic (Presentation)
  • Philippe Mercel, Sr Nuclear Advisor, Corporate Strategy, Électricité de France (Presentation)
  • Sherry Bernhoft, Sr Program Manager, Electric Power Research Institute (Presentation)

15:00    Special Address 

  • John Parsons, Senior Lecturer, Sloan School of Management, MIT (Presentation)


16:00    INVESTMENT IN LOW CARBON GENERATION AND NUCLEAR POWER

  • Keisuke Sadamori, Director, Energy Markets and Security, IEA
  • Mark Muldowney, Managing Director, Energy and Infrastructure, BNP Paribas 
  • Sama Bilbao y Leon, Head of Nuclear Technology Development and Economics Division, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (Presentation)
  • Alasdair Harper, Head of Strategy: Advanced Nuclear Technologies, Dept. of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, United Kingdom (Presentation)
  • Yoichi Wada, Senior Researcher, Transport, Energy and Environment Lab, Hitachi Europe Ltd.
  • Christopher Evans, Deputy Director of the Nuclear Division, Natural Resources Canada (Presentation)


17:30    Closing Messages