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More From the IAEA Meeting in Paris

The IAEA conference on the future of nuclear energy wrapped up in Paris today, with 74 nations signing a statement broadly endorsing the increased adoption of nuclear energy and praising it for not generating "air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions" and for being "a proven technology" that can "make a major contribution to meeting energy needs and sustaining the world's development in the 21st century". But this passage from an Agence-France Press wire story about the conference caught my eye as well:
Among the dissenters to the endorsement for nuclear energy were countries like Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden which are phasing out nuclear energy and others like Austria which are against nuclear power but attended the conference. Officials did not provide details on individual nations.

A diplomat present at the conference said however "give five years and most of Europe will change direction in favour of nuclear energy" since it is relatively inexpensive and other alternative power sources such as wind energy can not make up in large percentages for significantly reduced oil use.

A little less than two weeks ago, we noted that the German utility executive who negotiated the deal to phase out that nation's nuclear capacity had predicted that it would eventually be reversed. And click here for a pointer to a piece on how the nuclear phaseout and adoption of wind power is costing German ratepayers more than they bargained for.

In a message read to the conference, U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman had this to say:
In a message to the conference, U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman cited a University of Chicago study that showed nuclear power "can become competitive with electricity produced by plants fueled by coal or gas" because of new technologies delivering more-efficient reactors.

Echoing recent comments by President Bush, Bodman said: "America hasn't ordered a new nuclear-power plant since the 1970s, and it's time to start building again."

For more on the University of Chicago study, click here. Meanwhile, Korea's Science and Technology Minister gave nuclear energy a strong endorsement of having a place in his nation's energy future:

Science-Technology Minister Oh Myung made the point Monday during a ministerial conference on the future of nuclear power held in Paris, backed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Science-Technology Minister Oh Myung made the point Monday during a ministerial conference on the future of nuclear power held in Paris, backed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). ``I am confident that nuclear energy will contribute to preventing global warming, resolving world energy problems, promoting human welfare and progressing the world economy,’’ Oh said.

He went on to say that he believes another nuclear renaissance will take place in the future and the global community should assign a larger role to the energy source.


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