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Paris-based agency calls for work ‘across borders’ on essential technology Large, scientifically complex technologies such as nuclear power and small modular reactors have an important role to play in achieving net-zero targets, but need direct government investment in the early phases of development, in tandem with action to create more market value, according to a report released on 2 July by the International Energy Agency.

The report assesses the ways in which clean energy innovation can be significantly accelerated to achieve net-zero emissions while improving energy security in time to meet international climate and sustainable energy goals.

It concludes that without a major acceleration in clean energy innovation, countries and companies around the world will be unable to fulfil their pledges to bring their carbon emissions down to net-zero in the coming decades.

It calls on governments to take the initial investment risk in large-scale demonstrators that present a high-cost barrier to scale-up. Technologies like new nuclear designs, CCUS (carbon capture, usage and storage) for industrial facilities, fossil fuel-free iron and steel processes, and floating offshore wind all face high capital costs for the first commercial projects.

Date: Friday, 03 July 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/nuclear-has-vital-role-but-government-action-needed-7-4-2020

Long-term operation of nuclear power plants can be the lowest-cost option for generating electricity, the WNA said. More governments must introduce policies to support the long-term operation (LTO) of nuclear plants with market reforms brought in to value the “non-power” benefits of nuclear alongside other clean energy technologies, the London-based World Nuclear Association said.

In a position paper published on 30 June, the WNA said even where other options are cheaper and market conditions are challenging, nuclear plants offer many benefits beyond just electricity.

Those benefits include a low-carbon lifecycle, baseload power and increased resilience, grid stability and the stockpiling of fuel, which boosts security of energy supply.

The position paper said nuclear has a small land and resource footprint compared to other energy sources, avoids pollution such as nitrogen oxides, Sulphur oxides, heavy metals and particulate matter.

Nuclear is a major employer in non-urban areas, supporting skilled hi-tech jobs and local economic activity, the paper said. It can provide isotopes and support for research, medicine, industry and agriculture, and can enable decarbonisation of the heat, industry and transport sectors.

Date: Wednesday, 01 July 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/position-paper-calls-for-policies-to-support-lto-of-nuclear-plants-6-2-2020

Ambassadors from the European Union’s 27 member states agreed on 24 June that the fund to wean regions off fossil fuels should not finance nuclear or natural gas projects. 

Date: Tuesday, 30 June 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsiea-urges-eu-to-financially-support-nuclear-7999133

The European Union cannot afford to reduce its energy diversity and will need stronger policies than those currently in place to help it meet its 2030 targets for greenhouse gas emissions, renewables and energy efficiency as well as its long-term climate goals, according to a new review of EU energy policy from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Date: Saturday, 27 June 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Europe-needs-all-energy-sources-for-recovery-Birol

Polish Climate Minister Michal Kurtyka on 22 June, in an open letter to Kadri Simons, EU Commissioner for Energy and EU Vice-Presidents Frans Timmermans and Valdis Dombrovskis, said Poland remains committed to the pursuit of climate neutrality, which it intends to support by implementing both renewable and nuclear technologies, following the example and experience of other EU member states.

Date: Friday, 26 June 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newspolish-minister-urges-european-support-for-nuclear-7994279

Agency says more support is needed for development of new generation reactors The European Union needs to offer more support for nuclear power with the bloc facing the largest fleet decline across advanced economies and the possibility that the share of nuclear in the electricity mix could fall from 25% in 2017 to 5% in 2040, a report by the International Energy Agency says.

The report, which reviews energy policies in the European Union, says the EU should support a broader spectrum of research, development and demonstration on advanced nuclear concepts and small modular reactors, including for heat production for industrial uses and cogeneration.

It calls for the integration of flexible nuclear and renewable sources and progress towards harmonisation and standardisation. It says there is a need for the development of common approaches for licensing.

The report warns that the EU’s fleet of 126 commercial reactors is ageing after the large construction wave in the 1970s and 1980s and the much more modest rate of construction since then.

Date: Friday, 26 June 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/iea-reports-warns-of-largest-fleet-decline-across-advanced-economies-6-4-2020

If the European Commission is serious about its efforts to support the post-virus economic recovery and to achieving a clean energy transition, then it will correct the omission of nuclear energy in its Green Deal package and in the EU Taxonomy, Czech and Polish ministers have written in letters to Frans Timmermans and Kadri Simons, respectively the first vice president of the European Commission and the European commissioner for energy.

Date: Thursday, 25 June 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Help-coal-dependent-countries-switch-to-nuclear-mi

Nuclear energy should be part of post COVID-19 recovery plans, participants agreed during a webinar held today by the OECD/Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) to launch a series of policy briefs. Nuclear energy can not only provide economic and employment benefits, but can also help the world attain a low-carbon energy system and increase energy resilience, they said.

Date: Thursday, 25 June 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclears-post-pandemic-role-discussed-at-NEA-webin

Agency calls for support from governments and warns of consequences of early retirements With long development times and high capital requirements, finding low-cost financing for nuclear is important, the report says. The role of nuclear power in the energy mix needs to be maintained as the world seeks to overcome the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, with many facilities facing financial challenges because of lower revenues, heightening the risk of early retirements and limiting the prospects for new investment, the International Energy Agency said.

In a report which offers a post-pandemic recovery plan for the energy sector, the Paris-based agency says hydropower and nuclear power are the two largest sources of low-carbon generation, together providing 70% of all low-carbon electricity.

However, many facilities are ageing and face financial challenges because of lower revenues as a result of the pandemic, heightening the risk of early retirements and limiting the prospects for new investment.

“Modernising and upgrading existing nuclear plants would avoid a steep decline in low-carbon electricity generation; new construction would further boost low-carbon generation, and could also be considered where appropriate,” the report says.

Date: Friday, 19 June 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/nuclear-power-s-role-essential-for-post-pandemic-recovery-6-4-2020

Investing in existing nuclear power plants, new nuclear build and supporting innovation in small modular reactors (SMRs) are among measures set out to support a broad range of clean energy technologies in an energy-focused COVID-19 economic recovery plan released today by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Its emphasis for nuclear investment, however, is on existing plants rather than new power units.

Date: Friday, 19 June 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/IEA-recovery-plan-proposes-investment-in-nuclear