Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy (IAEA), keynote speaker during the opening of the Third Philippine Nuclear Congress on December 7, 2015 held a Dusil Thai Hotel, Manila among others, said that The best known application of nuclear energy, is of coarse nuclear plant.
The following texts are what he said about it during the occasion verbatin.
The best known application of nuclear technology is, of course, nuclear power.
Despite the Fukushima Daiichi accident in 2011, many countries believe nuclear power can help them to achieve the twin goals of increasing electricity supply while curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
Nuclear power can provide the steady supply of baseload electricity needed to power a modern economy. It is also one of the lowest emitters of carbon dioxide, when emissions through the entire life cycle are considered.
There are 441 nuclear power reactors in operation in 30 countries today, while 65 reactors are under construction. Most of the growth is happening in Asia.
I understand that, while no national decision has been made in the Philippines, nuclear power remains under consideration.
This is a sovereign national decision for all countries, which we do not seek to influence in any way. But if states decide to proceed with nuclear power, our job is to help them with all aspects of what can be a lengthy and complex process.
We advise on how to put the appropriate legal and regulatory framework in place and offer know-how on the construction, commissioning, start-up and safe operation of nuclear reactors.
We establish global nuclear safety standards and security guidance. We offer expert peer review missions to assess the operational safety of nuclear power plants. We can help with the decommissioning of plants at the end of their lifetimes and with waste disposal.
The end-result, we hope, is that countries will be able to introduce nuclear power safely, securely and sustainably.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Needless to say, safety is the key to the future development of nuclear power.
The safety record of the nuclear industry is actually very good. But the Fukushima Daiichi accident was a painful reminder that a terrible accident can happen anywhere, even in a developed industrial country.
Nearly five years on, I believe the necessary lessons have been learned. Extensive improvements in safety have been put in place all over the world and nuclear power is much safer than it was before the accident.
But this is no reason for complacency. Total and sustained commitment to the principle of “safety first” is a must. Nuclear safety will always be a work in progress.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The high cost of building a nuclear power plant is seen by some as an obstacle to future development. Nuclear power plants are indeed expensive to build, but once they are up and running, they are relatively inexpensive to operate throughout a life cycle of 30 or 40 years – or even more.
There is also a perception in some quarters that there is no technical solution to the issue of dealing with spent nuclear fuel and high level waste. This is not the case.
The Finnish authorities recently issued a licence for the construction of a deep geological repository at Onkalo. Expected to be operational in 2023, this will be the first repository in the world for the permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel.
Technologically, this is an exciting time for nuclear power. Remarkable research is being done on new generations of reactors which will be safer and generate less waste.
I am confident that technological developments already in the pipeline will make nuclear power not just safer, but much more efficient. I look forward to the development of new nuclear technologies which can generate electricity at competitive prices, with reduced construction times and operating costs.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I hope I have given you some insight into the fascinating work of this remarkable organisation which I have the honour to lead.
Let me end by reaffirming the great importance which the IAEA attaches to our cooperation with the Philippines. We look forward to strengthening that cooperation in the coming years. I wish you a very successful conference.
Thank you. (End)
The Philippines joined the International Energy in 1958, a year after the Agency was established and extremely active across a broad range of IAEA activities.
The IAEA has 167 member states. It has been contributing effectively by sustainable development for nearly 60 years and he (Amano) was very pleased when world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals and explicitly recognized the importance of science and technology for development- a striking overlap between the work of the IAEA and the MSGDs.
The new goals cover areas including poverty, hunger, human health, clean water, affordable and clean energy, industry and innovation and climate change.
The IAEA technical cooperation (TC) programme in the Philippines has focused in the application of electron beam, gamma irradiation and research reactor technologies IAEA helped with the establishment at the Philippine Nuclear Institute (PNRI) headed by Director Alumanda Dela Rosa.
More than 300 Philippine nationals have served as international experts under the TC programme, sharing their knowledge and experience with other developing countries.
The newly approved TC programme will be implemented in January 2016, new projects in the pipeline in the Philippines include establishing quality management system in nuclear medicine and radiotherapy. (PSciJourn MegaManila)