Nuclear power not panacea for energy supply, but it certainly helps – UN atomic chief

Director General Mohamed ElBaradei

1 December 2006 – Nuclear power is not the only answer but looks to be an important part of the future energy mix in Asia and other parts of the world, according to the head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who is an official visit to Japan, Viet Nam, China, and Indonesia.

Director General Mohamed ElBaradei noted in Tokyo, where he met with Japanese governmental and industry representatives, that the latest world energy projections show a 53 per cent increase in global energy consumption by 2030 if current policies hold.

“Two aspects of this analysis are especially interesting,” he said. “The first is the expectation that 70 per cent of the coming growth in demand will be from developing countries. The second is that... the increased use of nuclear power would help to meet the increase in energy demand, enhance the security of energy supply and mitigate carbon emissions...

“Nuclear energy alone is not a panacea, but it is likely in the near future to have an increasing role as part of the global energy mix,” he added.

Japan has the largest nuclear power programme in Asia, and the third largest worldwide. Only France and the United States have more nuclear generating capacity.

In his remarks in Tokyo, Mr. ElBaradei also addressed issues of nuclear security and safeguards, saying he was glad at the recent agreement to resume the six-party talks in Beijing regarding the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear programme.

“The IAEA stands ready to work with the DPRK and with all others towards a solution for this issue that would make use of the Agency’s verification capability to assure the international community that all nuclear activities in the DPRK are exclusively for peaceful purposes,” he declared.

“Equally, this solution would seek to address the security, economic and other concerns of the DPRK,” he said of the Beijing talks between China, DPRK, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia and the US.

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