Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future—Creating Opportunities for Cross-Sectoral Cooperation - May 7

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Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future—Creating Opportunities for Cross-Sectoral Cooperation

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>> Katie: Hello everyone.
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I’m Katie Contos and welcome to today’s webinar which is
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hosted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
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Today’s webinar is focused on the nuclear innovation clean energy future, creating
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opportunities for cross sectoral cooperation.
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Before we begin I’ll quickly go over some of the webinar features.
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may type it in.
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Also, the audio recording of today’s presentation will be added to the YouTube
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channel at the link that is provided on this slide.
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Today’s webinar agenda is centered around presentations that provide an overview
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of the Clean Energy Ministerial and an information on the NICE Future initiative.
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Before we launch into the presentations, I will
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provide a quick introduction of today’s panelists.
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Then following their presentations, we will have a question and answer session where
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the panelists will address questions submitted by our audience.
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Now I’d like to provide a brief introduction to today’s speakers.
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First up I would like to introduce our speakers.
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First up with have Diane Cameron who will provide an overview
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of the Clean Energy Ministerial and an introduction to the NICE Future initiative.
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Diane is the director of nuclear energy in the ministry
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of natural resources Canada.
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Following Diane, we will have Ken Onishi will tell you
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about the current status of the initiative.
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Ken is a senior assistant director of the nuclear
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energy policy planning division at the agency for natural resource and energy at the ministry
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of economy, trade and industry.
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And then following Ken, we will hear from Sarah Lennon who serves as the associate –
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excuse me – the associate deputy assistant secretary for international nuclear energy
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policy and cooperation in the DOE office of nuclear energy.
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Sarah will discuss how you and others can engage in this exciting initiative.
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And with those brief introductions I’d like to take a moment to pass the controls
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over to Diane.
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Welcome to the webinar.
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>>Diane: Good morning, everyone.
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This is Diane Cameron.
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I’m the director of the nuclear energy division the federal government
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of Canada.
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And it’s my pleasure to start us off with our presentation today on the
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Nuclear Innovation Clean Energy Future Initiative or as we like to call it the NICE
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Future initiative that we are launching under the Clean Energy Ministerial framework this
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year.
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I’m going to get us started with an introduction to the overall Clean Energy Ministerial
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framework or you might hear me refer to it as CEM, C-E-M, Clean Energy Ministerial.
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Following a very brief introduction to the CEM framework I’ll provide an introduction
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to the NICE Future initiative before handing over the microphone to my colleague
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from Japan Kensuke Onishi and he will provide us with the current status of the
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initiative.
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And Sarah Lennon from the US DOE will conclude the presentation with opportunities
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and a challenge to you and to your organizations to engage with us on the CEM.
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So starting first with a quick introduction to the CEM framework.
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CEM is an international initiative between member countries.
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There are 24-member countries plus the European Commission that have signed on
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to CEM.
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The member countries represent approximately 90 percent of global annual
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clean energy investment and also represent an
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estimated 75 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions making this a very important
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international forum for addressing climate change and clean energy challenges.
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But it’s a unique forum.
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It’s characterized by distributed and shared leadership and I’ll
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talk about what that means in a moment.
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The initiatives are voluntary and collaborative.
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Notably there are no negotiated communicates and the framework is very flexible.
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So what does this all mean?
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This means that countries get together under the CEM
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framework in what amount to coalitions of the willing.
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So – oh I don’t know what just happened.
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Ok.
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I’m assuming someone will alert me if you are unable to see the slides.
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So the CEM countries get together in what amount
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to coalitions of the willing.
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So any individual initiative is launched by and driven
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by a subset of CEM member countries.
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Those countries that are interested in a particular topic can get organized and launch
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initiatives and campaigns around that topic.
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There is no consensus text that is negotiated among all CEM member countries.
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There’s no negotiated consensus advice.
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This is not a forum where countries negotiate commitments
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as they do under the COP framework for climate change.
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This is a collaborative constructive space where we can get together and
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launch initiatives that advance our shared priorities and so that’s what we’re getting
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together to do on nuclear energy this year.
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The collaborations are quite flexible as I mentioned.
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They allow for the inclusion and participation of private sector of civil society
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and collaboration with multilateral institutions.
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And we’ll get in – we’re bringing all of
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those modalities into the work that we’re going to launch on nuclear energy.
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There are however annual meetings of ministers.
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Ministers have been meeting annually to discuss the initiatives, to receive progress
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updates on the initiatives, to adjust course and the launch new initiatives since the first
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meeting in 2010.
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This year’s CEM meeting in 2018 will take place in Copenhagen in May
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2018.
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And I’ll just note at this juncture that that’s where we’re going to launch
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the NICE Future initiative.
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And one year later in Vancouver in May of 2019 Canada will proudly
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host CEM 10 and we will an opportunity at that juncture having launched the initiative
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one year prior to really showcase our progress and to give nuclear as much profile
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as we would like to give it when we convene in Vancouver in 2019.
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And so, with that brief introduction to the overall framework and
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how it works, I’m now going to get into the NICE Future initiative and tell you what
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it is that we’re convening to do.
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Let me start with setting out a brief rationale for the NICE Future initiative.
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Let’s start by simply acknowledging that nuclear energy is
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an important contributor to global clean energy supply and that it will continue to
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play a role in meeting future clean energy goals.
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We all know this to be true but even so strategic planning for future clean energy systems
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often doesn’t include discussion about nuclear energy.
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Countries get together at CEM.
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They get together at COPs.
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They get together at Mission Innovation and we talk about
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our objectives vis a vis climate change and vis a vis clean energy future but nuclear
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energy is often not part of that conversation.
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And as a result, there’s a need here.
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There’s a need for countries to get together to launch
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a dialogue on the role of nuclear alongside other forms of clean energy to bring nuclear
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energy to the main discussion.
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With this slide I set out a couple of international initiatives or international fora where
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countries already get together and talk about nuclear but you’ll notice all of these are
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nuclear centric fora.
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The Nuclear Energy Agency where 33 countries get together to
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advance scientific, technological and legal basis for safe, environmentally sound and
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economically uses of nuclear energy.
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The International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, where 169 countries participate on safety
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and security and negotiated consensus guidelines for promoting those objectives.
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Generation IV International Forum, a smaller group of countries, 13 countries plus
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Euratom working on R&D for the next generation of nuclear systems.
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IFNEC, the International Framework for Nuclear Energy
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Cooperation.
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These are all constructive and useful international fora for discussing nuclear.
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But essentially what happens here is countries send their nuclear experts to these
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fora and we talk amongst ourselves.
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Mission Innovation is a little bit – is related
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to CEM and worth noting here.
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22 countries and the European Union, Mission Innovation was a commitment
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in 2015 for countries to double federal spending on clean energy R&D by 2020.
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There are some collaborations but mostly Mission Innovation was about an international
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commitment to go home and domestically advance work.
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So what this slide is intended to demonstrate is that there is a
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niche for CEM.
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There is a niche and there is a need to bring nuclear energy to broader
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discussions about clean energy policy and clean energy objectives and that is the CEM
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opportunity.
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This is an opportunity to launch a policy dialogue that cuts across energy sub-sectors
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including nuclear bringing it beyond existing fora where we talk amongst ourselves and
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amongst nuclear experts and engage the broader clean energy policymakers more
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broadly.
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It’s also an opportunity to bring nuclear to a ministerial discussion.
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The previous tables that I mentioned most of them are not
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being convened at the ministerial level.
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it’s an opportunity for collaboration and for knowledge
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sharing among coalitions of the willing as I mentioned before.
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And at CEM there’s flexibility to include countries in our
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initiatives that are not members of CEM.
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So there’s incredible flexibility.
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Not only can we include member countries that are party
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to CEM.
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We can include nonmember countries.
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We can include private sector, civil society and other international
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organizations can contribute as well.
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But most importantly it’s an opportunity to reach
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across the isle so to speak and to bring nuclear to non-nuclear audiences.
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We want to start a dialogue on the role that nuclear energy can play in bolstering
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economic growth, energy security and access and environmental stewardship in support
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of global clean energy goals.
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We want to build the dialogue between nuclear renewables
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and other clean energy policy makers and ensure that at the highest level, discussions
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about global clean energy policy objectives include and reflect the full set of options
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and acknowledge the realistic tradeoff between
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energy sources.
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The idea here that there is no silver bullet, that there is no perfect solution
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and that there is no solution that one size fits
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all, that we need to be looking at fact based, evidence based.
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And we can be optimistic but we have to be realistic about what our
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options are for addressing climate change and
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clean energy goals and nuclear has to be part of that discussion if we’re going to be
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serious about the discussion.
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And so, we’ve scoped out an initiative.
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We’ve proposed an initiative that allows for
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consideration of the role and contributions of on the one hand full scale nuclear power
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for baseload electricity.
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Here we’re thinking mainly existing generation three systems and
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the important role that they play on existing grids.
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But we also want to allow for consideration of next generation and advanced
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nuclear technologies.
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Innovations that are coming down the pipeline so to speak including
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hybrid systems that integrate nuclear and renewables in both electric and nonelectric
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applications.
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So hybrid systems for combined heat and power, small modular reactors and
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everything else that is coming down the pipe in nuclear innovation.
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We’re proposing to allow, to structure out work, pardon me, around four focus areas.
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One activities that promote technology briefings,
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technology valuations for policymakers.
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Essentially this is about plain language briefings for policymakers so that at the highest
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levels policymakers are well briefed on coordinate energy systems, innovative
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technologies, storage and uses.
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Secondary focus, engagement with policymakers and
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stakeholders regarding energy choices for the future.
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Third area of focus, economics including market evaluation, market structure
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and financing questions especially for next generation nuclear.
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And fourth, communicating nuclear energy’s role in clean integrated
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energy system.
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In a nutshell all of this, each one of these areas of focus has to do with plain language
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briefings about the potential for nuclear, what it is, what it isn’t, what the future
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may hold realistically, what it may not hold realistically,
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bringing those plain language briefings to new audiences, at the ministerial level, across
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the aisle to renewables and clean energy policy makers and to public stakeholder organizations.
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And with that introduction to the NICE Future I’d like to now hand the responsibility,
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the mic over to my esteemed colleague from Japan, Kensuke Onishi who will
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talk to us about the status of the initiative.
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Over to you, Ken.
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>>Ken: Thank you, Diane.
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And hello everyone.
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This is Kensuke Onishi from ministry of economy and industry of Japan.
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I’d like to talk about the current status of our initiative.
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Next slide please.
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So we, US, Canada and Japan are conducting the foreign three main
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works to prepare for the [inaudible].
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Number one, engagement with countries who show
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their interest in joining and raise diverse groups and organizations.
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Number two, the development of the work plan for the first
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year.
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Number three, preparing site event at CEM ninth on May 24th in Copenhagen.
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I will introduce each of these with the following slides.
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Next slide please.
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Countries, 13 CEM member countries plus 4 non-CEM members have indicated their
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interest in this initiative.
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These countries include UAE, South Africa, Russia, Romania,
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Poland, Argentina.
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And we’d like to welcome non-CEM member countries as well such
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as the three countries.
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Next slide please.
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But engagement with diverse groups and organizations are [inaudible] will work a
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wide range of organizations which focus on policy
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and technology in both nuclear and non-nuclear energy pails.
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Our initiative will invite members of industry, research organizations
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and civil society such as think tanks, environmental organizations and communities.
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Next slide please.
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We are preparing a draft program for the first year which describes our areas of activity,
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complete activities and operating agency as well as the way to participate in the initiative
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for countries and support organizations.
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Regarding the areas of activity to advance its
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strategy core objectives, the initiative will undertake works in three categories of
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activities.
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Number one, initiate cross sectoral dialogue among experts and energy
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policymakers on nuclear energy and energy systems of the future, encouraging
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participants to share information, best practices, experiences and perspectives.
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Number two, develop and disseminate resources for policymakers including the
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development of reports, tools and other resources to inform clean energy planning
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programs and decision making.
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Number three, building partnerships through outreach
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and engagement activities, online platforms, social media and other networks and
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audiences to broaden and multiply the NICE future through public facing channels and
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media.
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The scope of the work plan was focused on both the full scale nuclear for baseline
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energy services as well as the next generation technologies including integrated
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renewable nuclear energy systems and [inaudible] applications.
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In addition, the NICE Future initiative will explore four cross cutting themes.
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A, technology evaluations of coordinated energy
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systems, innovative technologies, storage and uses, B, engagement of policymakers and
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stakeholders, C, economic and financial analysis, D, communicating nuclear energy’s
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role.
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Next slide please.
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Then regarding our specific activities and key deliverables for the first year we expect
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the three main pillars, number one, initiate a
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cross sectoral dialogue on nuclear energy’s role
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in clean energy system.
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This category will convene energy experts, policymakers in
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industry from across the green energy sector to join a discussion on the current and
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potential of nuclear in support of the green energy goals through a variety of conventional
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and innovation obligations.
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Currently discussions on nuclear energy take place in
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predominantly nuclear only forum and they’re the same and then NICE Future initiative
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provides an opportunity for a policy dialogue across energy subsectors to bring nuclear
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energy beyond existing forum and informs policies more broadly.
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In the first year we seek to initiate a cross sector dialogue by hosting a keystone event
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or workshop to bring experts, policymakers and
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industry together.
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We are currently planning to hold an event at the same time
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to be held next year in Canada.
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Moreover, Japan will host another meeting called [inaudible]
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in November this year and we are considering to have a cohost even with the
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NICE Future.
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Also, we are launching a webinar series to establish a forum for sharing
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information and best practices across the clean energy sector.
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We would like to have webinars once a month on these various
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themes.
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And second develop and disseminate resources for policymakers.
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The goal of this category is to ensure energy policymakers
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have access to resources and information on the opportunities and challenges associated
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with the full range of options available for meeting clean energy goals.
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We will develop tools and resources to provide policymakers
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with the information necessary to evaluate the full range of clean energy options
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including emerging areas of nuclear technology innovation and potentially applications
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for those technologies.
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In the first year, we will produce a progress report that captures
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current and expected future nuclear innovations and their potential applications in
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integrated clean energy systems.
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We will also work to include nuclear energy under the
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CEM green energy Solution Center’s Ask an Expert service.
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Number three, building working groups and partnerships through outreach and
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engagement.
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This category will focus on outreach and engagement with broader
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nonexpert groups to raise the profile of nuclear sectors green energy contributions.
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In the first year, we will seek to achieve this by
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identifying opportunities to expand existing clean energy conservations by establishing
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partnerships that can be leveraged to [inaudible] our initiative.
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And by taking the conversation to other online audiences.
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The NICE Future Council is a kind of supporters’ network
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for the initiative and Sarah will explain it detail
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later.
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Oops.
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Thank you.
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We will hold the [inaudible] on the initiative at the CEM9 on May
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24th on the [inaudible].
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The page 20 please.
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Thank you.
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The program is still under coordination but we assume
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the following agenda by representatives of countries mainly US, Canada and Japan.
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And working in emerging country perspective.
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Remarks by supporting multilateral organizations in industry and research institutions.
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And ideation by the [inaudible].
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In addition to this we will have a photo session with
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heads of delegations at 1:25 PM before the opening of the event as well as one [inaudible]
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including for those who join late I would like
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to ask the countries taking the [inaudible] to arrive at the venue in time.
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Next slide please.
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And this is the last slide for me.
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And as I mentioned there will be a visual exhibition and introduction by the
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Third Way US think tank.
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Here I’d like to introduce this picture of it as an example
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of the future integrated energy system.
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This is called the data center scenario.
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The yellow boxes in the middle are advanced nuclear
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reactors.
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You can also see solar panels on the roof of the buildings.
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Moreover, some space for the addition of reactors are secured
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in advance to adjust the power sources in accordance with expanding the capacity of
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the data center.
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This system would have less concern but fewer transports than the convention
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[inaudible].
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So next US will talk about the way to participate in the initiative.
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Thank you very much.
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>> Sarah: Ok.
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Thank you, Ken.
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This is Sarah Lennon from the office of nuclear energy at
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the US Department of Energy.
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And now that you’ve heard what the initiative is and why
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it is, I thought I could talk a little bit about how people and entities could get involved
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in our structure that we are currently envisioning
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for the initiative.
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Next slide please.
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So very briefly, our structure, it’s simple, it’s flexible and relatively informal compared
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to a lot of other international groups or organizations
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or initiatives.
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As you can see we have our guiding principles.
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Well, first NREL who is hosting this webinar, we appreciate their
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help as an operating agent already before we formally launch.
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And we envision them as an operating agent to continue but there could
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be opportunities for other organizations to provide some support in the future as additional
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operating agents.
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Again, CEM is very flexible in that sense.
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So our guiding principles, it’s voluntary.
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People or countries can engage in whatever piece they are interested
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in.
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It’s nonbinding for a country.
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One of our key focus or key principles is that this is for shared contributions.
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We encourage countries or entities to identify
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an idea, a concept, an activity and basically run
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with it.
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They take the responsibility for an activity and that leads to the next principle
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which is any participant who comes up with some idea or wants to participate in an
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activity, they maintain full authority over the resources they choose to invest in the
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initiative and these activities.
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And final point is transparency.
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We will be using the CEM secretariats and NREL to share information
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in a timely, transparent manner and just to reiterate we do not have an authoritative
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body saying what should be done or what must be done and not all who join the NICE Future
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initiative have to participate in each and every activity.
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Whatever suits your needs or interests we encourage.
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Next slide please.
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So we want people to get engaged.
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As Ken mentioned we have developed a draft for our plan for year one.
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And it’s a work in progress and we’re happy
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to share that with interested folks.
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The initiative supports engagement with governments, industry, civil society.
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Cross sectoral is one of our buzz words as is flexibility.
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So we’re looking to get engagement across different
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sectors from governments, academics, nonprofits, industry.
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And there are four different areas or ways to get involved.
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First bullet there you can see, sharing information.
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There could be existing reports that an entity has developed that might not have been
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shared or discussed or socialized across sectors that provides technical and economic
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information that might relate to one of the four key focus areas that Diane mentioned
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earlier on.
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We want people to participate in events that we are developing or partner with
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other countries and entities to develop other engagements, events or opportunities.
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And share – and this is one of the key things.
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Sharing outcomes with your own networks, beyond the strictly nuclear networks that we
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have been so focused on.
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So just reiterating.
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Diane mentioned this in the beginning.
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I think Ken touched on this.
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Cross sectoral, flexibility those are the real key pieces for this
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initiative and why we think this is really a fantastic new idea.
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Next slide please.
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So there are two different ways to get involved, countries and then other participating
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entities.
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For countries, very simple.
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They can state their intention at the ministerial or at
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the site event that will be taking place in the afternoon of May 24th as Ken just
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mentioned.
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They can reach out to Canada, Japan or US representatives.
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Our contact information is at the end.
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And just let us know.
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And same thing really for the non-CEM member countries.
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Reach out to us and we’d be happy to add you to our list of
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participating countries.
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Next slide please.
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So for industry and civil society little bit different.
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We are looking for that kind of engagement to involve written
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proposals submitted to the lead countries.
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And you can see at the bottom of the slide there
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where you can get more information about that and where you could submit proposals.
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And these proposals obviously should align with the objectives and the principles of
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the initiative and target the key audiences for our
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initiative.
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And really activities that might include clean energy stakeholders outside of the
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nuclear sector and expand the conversation, take it broader.
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Those are the kinds of things that we’re really looking for.
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So we really encourage that.
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And Diane started out the webinar saying we had a challenge for you and our challenge
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is this.
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Be creative, think outside the box and be innovative.
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It’s built into the name of the initiative.
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So we know there are a lot of good ideas out there and a lot of great
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organizations and networks that we want to tap into and benefit from the work that has
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already perhaps been done and look at it and look at it in cooperation with nuclear in
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a different way.
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Next slide please.
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And Ken touched on this briefly.
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We are looking to establish a council and the objective
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is to work at the strategic level with our stakeholders across the whole clean energy
33:28
sector to provide – this council would provide guidance, suggestions and help share and
33:35
disseminate information.
33:38
The council will include people, organizations who are looking
33:41
to develop clean energy systems.
33:44
Sorry.
33:45
Hang on one sec.
33:50
Developing clean energy systems, operating these clean energy systems
33:54
or we want the end users of the clean energy produced by these systems.
33:58
So this could be multilateral organizations, industry.
34:02
And one key point, the bottom note there is that the council is not intended to obtain
34:08
consensus views.
34:09
This is not a consensus-based organization.
34:14
Next slide please.
34:15
I think I touched on this in an earlier slide but we want the NICE
34:24
Future council to look at the alignments of the activities, the alignment of the mission
34:30
purpose activities, the value added and the balance of representation is really important.
34:36
So we want nuclear and non-nuclear obviously represented on this council.
34:41
Ok.
34:42
Next slide please.
34:46
And here are some of our brainstorming topics for our webinar series.
34:52
These are just initial ideas that we came up with, some organizations
34:58
that we’d like to get involved.
35:00
But we really want to hear from you.
35:02
We are absolutely open in encouraging other topics to
35:06
add to our webinar series.
35:08
Ok.
35:10
And final slide, you can go there.
35:13
And that just has our contact information.
35:16
So feel free to reach out to any of us and we look forward to
35:21
participation and engagement and questions now I suppose.
35:26
Thank you.
35:27
>>Katie: Wonderful.
35:29
Thanks to the panelists for the outstanding presentations.
35:34
As we shift now to the question and answer session
35:37
I just want to remind our attendees to please submit the questions using the question pane
35:42
at any time.
35:43
We’ve had some great questions from the audience so we’ll use
35:47
the remaining time to answer those.
35:49
For the panel, let’s begin with how is nuclear energy
35:54
considered to be clean.
35:57
>>Diane: This is Diane Cameron from Canada and I can take a stab at this to start.
36:09
>>Katie: Wonderful.
36:10
>>Diane: It’s a great question and it’s a very common question.
36:14
So it obviously depends on your objectives and your objectives in
36:25
trying to advance clean energy deployment.
36:30
From Canada’s perspective, carbon emissions are central to, are a central consideration
36:39
in this regard.
36:40
So we, in Canada we have included nuclear energy in our definition of clean
36:46
energy.
36:48
For the purpose of our emission innovation pledge and also more broadly.
36:54
And the reason we’ve done that is we know we
36:56
cannot meet our Paris commitments without nuclear.
37:00
Nuclear plays a critical role in displacing large amounts of carbon emissions
37:06
from what would otherwise be fossil generation power generation in Canada and around
37:14
the world.
37:15
So that’s really at the core of the matter from Canada’s perspective is the potential
37:21
for nuclear energy to replace massive amounts
37:23
of greenhouse gas emissions and to help us meet our climate change objective.
37:29
That said there are other considerations at play.
37:34
When we think about clean energy we have to think
37:37
about environmental impact more broadly on land, water and local air quality.
37:43
And in this regard from Canada’s perspective, we
37:47
feel very strongly that we have an excellent and rigorous track record with respect to
37:53
safety and security and we have a plan for long term management of radioactive waste
38:02
that protects the environment and protects humans.
38:07
So that’s how we have come to the conclusion and we are comfortable promoting
38:14
nuclear energy as an important source of clean energy.
38:17
>>Sarah: This is Sarah from Department of Energy and I would just echo what Diane
38:25
said and just note that nuclear power produces around the clock zero emissions energy,
38:33
no pollution, no particulate smog, no nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide emissions and right
38:40
now it generates 60 percent of our carbon free electricity in the United States.
38:44
So we definitely consider this a clean energy, clean
38:49
and green.
38:51
>>Katie: Wonderful.
38:53
Thank you both for answering that.
38:55
Our next question from the audience is what are the panelists thoughts
38:58
on engaging nuclear fusion research with this initiative?
39:04
>>Diane: So this is Diane from Canada.
39:12
The initiative certainly does not preclude consideration of fusion as a clean energy
39:21
source.
39:22
That said this is not an R&D initiative.
39:26
So we already have other fora where we advance nuclear R&D.
39:32
For example, under Mission Innovation we have a commitment to
39:35
double spending on – sorry – clean energy R&D.
39:40
And for Canada and for other member countries, some of us have chosen to
39:45
include nuclear in that commitment.
39:48
We also have collaborations that we advance under
39:53
the Generation IV international forum.
39:56
Though none of those specifically deal with fusion, they do deal with next generation
39:59
nuclear, FNT nuclear, R&D.
40:02
We feel that the niche for CEM really brings nuclear briefings to the policy table.
40:13
And so, this is about challenging people’s mental
40:20
models about what nuclear is and isn’t and informing them with fact based, evidence based
40:29
and in earnest about the trade off of nuclear energy options and innovation that
40:37
is coming down the pipeline.
40:38
So to the extent that fusion energy is an option that’s coming
40:41
down the pipeline with a certain deployment timeline in mind, that could be part of the
40:48
briefing for policymakers.
40:50
So it could be part of the initiative in that sense.
40:53
So there’s nothing precluding fusion, but to be clear this is
40:57
not an R&D initiative.
41:00
>>Katie: Thank you.
41:02
Thank you for following up with that.
41:05
Our next question is how does nuclear energy compete with renewables
41:09
on the up-front financing needs.
41:14
>>Sarah: That is actually, I mean that’s a great question.
41:18
And that’s a question that we are wrestling with here in the department
41:22
and one of the key focus areas for the initiative is to look at exactly that, look at how nuclear
41:29
is valued and what kind of market structure would make nuclear more affordable.
41:36
Financing options could be discussed and if we
41:39
start looking at new advanced reactors, smaller reactors that might be more financeable,
41:46
less costly than the current fleet of large reactors, that could change the dynamic as
41:53
well and change the competitiveness of nuclear.
41:57
So that’s exactly – we don’t have that answer
42:00
yet but that is certainly one of the main questions we’re going to be talking about
42:05
in this initiative.
42:07
>>Katie: Thank you, Sarah.
42:11
Our next question is what is the NICE Future initiative
42:14
vision for millennials and the next generation of leaders of the nuclear industry?
42:20
>>Diane: We want to hear from you.
42:24
So if there are participants on today’s webinar that
42:29
are part of the international congress of young – I can never remember, young generation
42:35
nuclear or the North American Young Generation Nuclear or any other millennial
42:41
networks around clean energy whether you’re on the nuclear side of things or on other
42:48
energy subsector sides of things.
42:51
Our challenge is absolutely directed to all organizations
42:57
but especially to next generation.
43:01
In Canada we know that the next generation of nuclear
43:05
workers and leaders are a passionate group.
43:08
They’re passionate about climate change.
43:11
They’re passionate about environmental, making an environmental difference.
43:16
And so, our challenge to you is take a look at our, at
43:22
the concept here.
43:23
You know what our broad objectives are.
43:25
And think, go back to your organizations, talk about what you might be
43:29
able to do.
43:30
If you have activities that you can organize and they fit with the priorities
43:35
of the NICE Future initiative.
43:38
And especially if they reach across the aisle and bring nuclear
43:42
and renewables to the same initiative, to the
43:46
same table and you’ve built that cross sectoral element into your activity, we would be
43:51
delighted to give that activity profile through ministerial process.
43:56
>>Sarah: Yes, absolutely.
43:59
There was a conference not too long ago where Canada and the
44:07
US participated in a dialogue.
44:10
It was at the international youth nuclear congress I believe
44:14
in Argentina.
44:15
And there was great interest from millennials and from women’s groups.
44:19
I think Women in Nuclear participated.
44:22
And we 100 percent look forward to working with
44:26
the next generation of leaders for the nuclear industry.
44:29
And the grass roots efforts that some of these organizations have already developed
44:32
I think is going to be a fantastic way to spread the word about our initiative.
44:39
And some of these folks have already sort of seen
44:42
the light that nuclear is clean and that dialogue has started in some of those organizations.
44:46
So I think the more we spread the word and link up these different organizations, the
44:52
better off we’ll be.
44:54
>>Katie: Wonderful.
44:56
Thank you.
44:57
And we’ve had a lot of – to follow that question up,
44:59
we’ve had a lot of audience members ask how do they get involved in the initiative
45:05
and is there a chance to meet people behind the initiative?
45:08
And how do they get invitations to these events?
45:13
>>Sarah: I believe we have a – or we are developing a website.
45:21
We are in the final stages of having this website up and running.
45:25
It will probably happen right after the initiative.
45:29
But folks can check out.
45:32
There are a couple of links in the slide presentation about how
45:37
you can get more information.
45:39
And there will be a sign-up possibility to be on a
45:43
distribution and mailing list, information about upcoming events.
45:49
I know we’ve got folks who will be at the site events in Copenhagen
45:55
and there should be many different opportunities.
45:58
But I would say that the best first start is to sign up for our distribution or
46:02
mailing list or reach out to us by email and we can make sure that folks who want to meet
46:07
and get involved that that will happen.
46:12
>>Katie: Great.
46:13
Thank you, Sarah.
46:15
Our next question is what is being done about the
46:18
waste?
46:21
>>Sarah: Well, I can start that.
46:29
I’m sure my colleagues have comments on that as well.
46:32
Waste, it’s a vital issue when you’re talking about nuclear but because it is strictly
46:39
a nuclear issue and it’s being dealt with
46:43
in a number of fora already, it is not a focus of this
46:49
initiative.
46:50
Every country that may be participating or interested in joining NICE Future
46:54
initiative has different national circumstances.
46:58
So while we recognize it’s an important aspect of the broader nuclear picture, for
47:04
the purpose of this dialogue, it’s not a focus.
47:09
>>Diane: I would just like to add a little bit of nuance around that.
47:14
So this is Diane from Canada.
47:15
And Sarah is absolutely right to the extent that addressing legal frameworks and
47:23
technological frameworks for nuclear waste management or radioactive waste
47:27
management is not the central focus of this initiative.
47:31
One of the – it’s a little bit like the question about fusion.
47:36
We have – we work through the IAEA and through the NEA on
47:40
international collaboration with respect to radioactive waste management.
47:45
We have domestic regimes for that management and I
47:50
would say that the Canadian adaptive phased management approach for radioactive
47:55
waste, long term radioactive waste management is something to be benchmarked
48:01
against.
48:02
It is a very high standard and we have an excellent record and we’re making
48:09
excellent progress in Canada on this front.
48:12
So all of that is true.
48:13
But within the context of the Clean Energy Ministerial and the NICE
48:17
Future initiative, part of our objective is to provide plain language briefings to the
48:24
public and also to policy makers and to ministers.
48:29
And so, we will endeavor to develop products that address those types of questions.
48:35
That is frequently the first question that people ask
48:39
when you want to talk to them about nuclear and they’re not nuclear experts.
48:43
They want to understand about waste management.
48:46
And so, while we’re not going to be breaking new ground on waste management under the CEM
48:52
initiative, part of our objective here is to make nuclear energy understandable and
48:57
accessible to new audiences.
49:01
And so that will be part of our challenge.
49:03
>>Katie: Great.
49:05
Thank you both for following up on that.
49:10
Our next question is can you expand on how the Department of Energy aids
49:14
with nuclear fleet maintenance?
49:17
>>Sarah: Nuclear fleet maintenance.
49:23
Sure.
49:25
There is a very strong focus within the department and within the office of nuclear
49:33
energy to keep our nuclear fleet going.
49:39
We are advancing nuclear energy technologies.
49:41
We are looking at targeted early stage investments to help ensure a strong domestic
49:47
industry now and into the future.
49:50
We have a lot of industry informed R&D looking at challenges
49:56
to the future of nuclear but also looking at ensuring that our current fleet
50:00
can continue providing the excellent clean baseload power that it already does.
50:09
We are looking to leverage public private partnerships and we are thrilled with our
50:15
partnership with our national laboratory system and looking to develop an advanced
50:20
nuclear infrastructure.
50:21
We are looking at how to make the supply chain resilient and
50:25
really develop and promote a strong nuclear pipeline for future nuclear reactors.
50:32
So we’re looking at the current fleet.
50:35
We’re looking at advanced, what comes next and the supply
50:39
chain.
50:40
So those are the three kind of big areas that nuclear energy is focusing on.
50:45
>>Katie: Great.
50:47
Thank you, Sarah.
50:50
Our next question is what about the nonproliferation concerns?
50:57
>>Diane: This is Diane from Canada.
51:07
Yes, what about them?
51:11
I’m not sure I understand the question.
51:17
I’m not sure I understand the question.
51:21
>>Katie: I believe the audience, the question is does the NICE initiative address the
51:28
nonproliferation concerns that can cross over between the energy and the weapon use.
51:33
>>Diane: I see.
51:34
I see.
51:35
Ok.
51:36
So I would say no.
51:39
Not directly.
51:40
That is not presently contemplated in the scope of the CEM NICE
51:45
Future initiative at least as I understand it or
51:48
as it is presently envisioned.
51:50
We work at the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy
51:54
Agency with I think it’s 169 countries to develop international standards and regimes
52:02
for ensuring the highest standards of security
52:06
and nuclear nonproliferation and safeguards.
52:08
And so, we feel that that is very well in hand through that framework.
52:15
And so, this is really about – now so the extent to which
52:20
it would be an issue in CEM would be the same answer that we have to the question about
52:26
fusion and the question about waste management is that if I, if policymakers have
52:32
questions or concerns about security and nuclear nonproliferation we would attempt
52:39
to answer those questions.
52:40
But really, this initiative is about bringing nuclear energy to clean energy discussions
52:46
and making sure that policymakers especially that
52:49
are forward looking and developing policies and incentives for the deployment
52:56
of low carbon technologies are making those plans in a manner that is well informed by
53:03
the full optionality of energy options including nuclear.
53:07
So this initiative is not going to break new ground in terms of nuclear security
53:13
standards or anything like that.
53:16
That is very well in hand through the IAEA.
53:19
>>Katie: Great.
53:23
Thank you so much.
53:25
Our next question is what is your view on small
53:28
modular reactor companies participating in the NICE initiative and what protocol will
53:35
they follow?
53:36
And also, have they become commercially available?
53:40
>>Diane: I would be very happy to answer that question.
53:44
So again, this is Diane from Canada.
53:47
And I would like to take this opportunity to give a hat tip to the Canadian SMR
53:52
roadmap which is a domestic initiative that we are convening a pan-Canadian roadmap
53:57
that has participation from the federal government, subnational government, industry, our
54:03
laboratories, our regulators because we see SMRs as a promising area of nuclear
54:10
innovation and an important area where new options are going to become available for
54:15
clean energy production.
54:17
And so, we think small modular reactors are definitely going to
54:19
be part of that space and we would like to make sure that small modular reactors are
54:23
a part of the discussion under NICE Future at
54:26
CEM.
54:27
So there’s absolutely scope to do that.
54:30
Now in terms of how the private sector can participate in the NICE Future initiative,
54:36
the challenge is out there to your organizations
54:40
to propose activities or activities or events that would advance the objectives of the NICE
54:49
Future initiative.
54:50
They will be looked upon even more favorably if they represent
54:54
partnerships.
54:55
If you are able to bring something forward that is a collaboration
55:00
between the nuclear sector and the renewable sector, for example something that helps to
55:06
build that dialogue, then bring your proposals forward and we will be very, very happy to
55:12
consider it and give it profile and especially I
55:19
think SMRs have to be a part of these conversations.
55:21
So don’t be shy about bringing forward an activity around SMRs.
55:26
>>Sarah: I would just say absolutely we believe that the SMRs, the dialogue needs to
55:33
include SMRs.
55:34
As I mentioned in the slides earlier on, we’re looking at reactors that
55:41
might be more financeable and less up-front cost for a country that might be considering
55:48
nuclear power but the cost and siting of a large nuclear power plant or the current fleet
55:55
variety might not be feasible.
55:57
So perhaps an SMR in the future in the 2020s would make
56:05
it more approachable or more reachable for countries looking to develop nuclear power.
56:11
And we’re looking at the possible linkage between nuclear reactors and clean, other
56:20
renewables.
56:21
So you have a hybrid or integrated energy system where you might have a
56:25
reactor that would be teamed up with a hydro plant or wind or solar so that again it’s
56:32
more flexible and you might be able to put it in places that wouldn’t be able to host
56:38
a larger nuclear power plant.
56:41
So absolutely and I echoed Diane’s challenge to come up with some ways to put together
56:49
some kind of activity or study or dialogue in the future.
56:54
And for the US, I know new scale is expecting design certification I believe
56:58
in early 2021.
57:02
And then hopefully shortly thereafter they would have a ready to build
57:05
model that would be commercially available.
57:08
But when that would be commercially available is not really within the purview of the
57:14
Department of Energy.
57:15
But we are certainly supporting and supportive of SMR efforts.
57:22
>>Katie: Wonderful.
57:26
Thank you.
57:27
And I think we can squeeze in maybe one more question today in our final minutes.
57:32
What happens to the spent fuel and can it be safely
57:35
stored?
57:37
>>Sarah: I think this goes back to the question before about the waste.
57:44
I think countries have – I mean yes it can be safely stored.
57:49
Different countries have different approaches and thoughts on this.
57:53
Again, this is not one of the focus areas for the NICE initiative
57:57
which is trying to get nuclear included in the dialogue of clean, green energy.
58:06
There are other organizations that are studying that
58:09
issue that are strictly issue.
58:11
For example, I know in IFNEC there is a workshop or there’s
58:17
a working group looking at the back-end issues.
58:21
So the short answer is yes, it can be.
58:27
But not, it’s really not part of the dialogue necessarily for the NICE initiative.
58:32
>>Katie: Great.
58:34
Thank you so much.
58:37
And thank you again, for that awesome question and answer session.
58:41
For any questions we didn’t have a chance to get to, we’ll connect
58:44
with those attendees offline after the webinar.
58:48
And I’d like to extend a huge thank you to
58:50
our expert panelists today and to our attendees for participating in today’s webinar.
58:56
We very much appreciate your time and hope in
58:58
return that there’s some valuable insights that you can take back to your ministries,
59:02
departments or organizations.
59:04
I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their day and we hope to
59:08
see you again at future NICE events.
59:10
This concludes our webinar.