World Nuclear Fuel Cycle 2023

The Hague, Netherlands
18 - 20 April 2023


5 May 2023


Elisa Penda

The World Nuclear Fuel Cycle took place from 18 - 20 April 2023 in The Hague, Netherlands. WNTI Specialist, Elisa Penda attended the international forum which was co-organised by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and the World Nuclear Association (WNA).

In introduction, Boris Schucht, CEO of Urenco, said “Climate change is one of three drivers for this change – without nuclear it will be “impossible” to meet decarbonisation targets, and nuclear is the perfect CO2-free baseload complement to renewables and hydrogen, which will be a particular consideration for difficult-to-decarbonise sectors, he said. However, the industry must “do its homework” and strive to become CO2-free itself. “We all have to become climate activists,” he said. Urenco has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

The main topic discussed during the conference is the current and future state of the nuclear power industry. The speakers agree that the current worldwide situation, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Ukraine War, and global warming, is creating a positive outlook for nuclear power. The industry is expected to become an even more important player in the energy industry in the years to come, with a lot of new construction as both large and small power plants, renewable energy, hydrogen and according to the experts the request of nuclear energy by 2050 will be of 1000 megawatts at a global level. However, the industry is facing several challenges, such as slow-paced building, regulatory hurdles, supply chain issues, and a tight labor market. The speakers emphasize the need to redefine frameworks, accelerate processes, and collaborate with regulators and governments to overcome these challenges. They also note that the nuclear industry needs to regain the momentum it had in the past and find ways to deliver projects more quickly.

The speakers had also discussed that the industry can contribute to a sustainable future, and that the efforts are being made to attract and support new talent through working with universities and Engineer school.

The tomorrow’s challenges the nuclear industry face in terms of decarbonization and energy security are dynamizing, encouraging and exciting but we also must keep in mind that the nuclear industry has historically struggled with cost overruns and delays, which has made it less attractive to the financial community.

Consequently, the nuclear industry has to continue of the pilot projects will be critical to demonstrating the feasibility and scalability of these technologies. in order the financial community and the regulators engage wider for this potential of new nuclear technologies. The future of nuclear energy will be different from the past and will have to recognize as providing reliable and carbon-free energy.

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