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TOKYO, JAPAN – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) recently completed a two-day clean energy and innovation conference in Tokyo, Japan during which it, along with multiple entities from across the globe, highlighted nuclear as the largest and most reliable contributor to global clean air. Nuclear plants produce more than half of U.S clean energy and more than a third of the world’s clean electricity, while emitting no carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury, or particulates that cause smog.
The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry hosted the event under the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC) and continued the conversation about nuclear power’s role in clean energy that started at the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) in May. During that event, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette launched the Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) initiative led by the United States, Canada, and Japan, with a growing number of participating countries.
The NICE Future initiative envisions innovative nuclear energy systems and brings options to countries seeking clean energy solutions. NE Senior Advisor Suzanne Jaworowski provided opening and concluding keynote remarks at the conference on November 13 and 14 “There has never before been such an urgent need for visionary approaches to clean energy systems of the future,” she said. “It is exciting to be at the cutting edge of innovation that can enable nuclear energy to contribute to a bright and healthy future for our planet.”
U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry originally proposed the idea of the NICE Future initiative at the 2017 CEM meeting in Beijing, China. “The NICE Future initiative fulfills my vision to expand the spectrum of clean energy technologies and approaches considered under the CEM,” said Secretary Perry. “International collaboration will not only help our environment and our economies, but will also add to the new energy realism of the future – a world driven by innovation.”
Conference participants included representatives from twelve countries -- government, non-government environmental groups, academia, industry, the financial sector, and international organizations. It covered several clean-energy related topics including: the role of nuclear energy and other technologies in future energy systems; electricity markets and nuclear competitiveness; financing new-build and long-term operation of nuclear power plants; nuclear technology beyond electricity generation, hybrid energy systems; innovation and new developments in the nuclear sector and in other high-tech industries; communications and stakeholder involvement to foster a better understanding of nuclear energy’s uses and value; and, nuclear energy as a pillar for a successful energy transition to low-carbon energy systems.