Asia seen as ‘driver of nuclear energy’

Asia is the driver of nuclear power. That’s the view of Mikhail Chudakov, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy at the International Atomic Energy Agency […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Asia is the driver of nuclear power.

That’s the view of Mikhail Chudakov, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Speaking at a conference in Manila, Philippines, he said: “There are several member states already operating nuclear power plants and many more aspiring states exploring the potential for developing nuclear power programmes in this region.”

Figures from the World Nuclear Association suggest there are currently more than 120 operable nuclear power reactors and 40 under construction in Asia.

The event provided Member States an opportunity to discuss the common challenges countries in Asia and the Pacific are facing in introducing nuclear power and display best practices in addressing them.

That included legal, regulatory and government support for nuclear power, management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, human resource development and other related technical issues.

According to Mr Chudakov, a nuclear programme is a “major undertaking” and requires careful planning, preparation and investment.

He suggests the decision should be based on a “well-informed national position, comprehensive analysis of the current and required national infrastructure, energy planning and the commitment to safe, secure, peaceful use of nuclear power”.

In the UK, the government unexpectedly postponed the final decision for the nuclear project until early autumn following which EDF chief Vincent de Rivaz urged Theresa May to give the go ahead.