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For Immediate Release: December 6, 2018

DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy Leads
NICE Future Event at COP 24


KATOWICE, POLAND – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) today applauded a vital discussion about nuclear energy among leaders and experts around the world at the 2018 UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland. The meeting was convened by the new Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) initiative to address how innovative and advanced nuclear technologies could accelerate emissions reductions.

The NICE Future initiative launched at last May’s Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) in Copenhagen, Denmark. The initiative envisions nuclear power’s many uses in contributing to clean, reliable energy systems of the future. Nuclear energy is both a primary source of clean energy and an enabler of other clean energy sources. Globally, nuclear energy produces nearly one-third of the world’s emissions-free electricity.

The U.S., Japan, and Canada spearheaded the NICE Future initiative. Since its start, six more countries have joined, and the initiative has engaged representatives from more than 80 organizations and individuals from more than 25 countries worldwide.

“As de-carbonization becomes a goal for so many, it is becoming clear that large scale power demands will require big, 24/7, clean and resilient energy sources to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply. Nuclear is that source,” said Sarah Lennon, NE Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary, on behalf of the Canada, Japan, U.S. NICE Future Lead Team. “Nuclear energy the clean energy workhorse, yet it’s often omitted from conversations about clean energy. We see a role for ‘nuclear and renewables’ versus ‘nuclear or renewables.’ That’s new thinking.”

“I am pleased that during COP 24 there is also a place for discussion on nuclear energy and its role in the energy systems of the future,” said Poland’s Minister of Energy, Krzysztof Tchórzewski, in keynote remarks. “It is nuclear power that will be the main tool to reduce emissions. Poland has decided to follow this direction because nuclear power plants offer stable power generation with zero emission of air pollutants."

Speakers representing governments, research organizations, and NGOs worldwide discussed breakthrough innovative and integrated systems and applications. Of particular note are nuclear-renewable systems that enhance renewables integration into the grid and further enable both technologies. These technologies also enable combined uses of heat and power, hydrogen production, and industrial de-carbonization.