Over 150 leading stakeholders from more than 30 countries convened at the international conference on "Nuclear energy's role in the 21st century: addressing the challenge of financing" to discuss the primary challenges faced by the markets and to develop implementable approaches and solutions. The conference was held on 11-12 May 2016 in Paris, France by the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC), in co-operation with the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA).
Opening remarks were delivered by the OECD Secretary‑General, Mr Angel Gurría, the NEA Director‑General, Mr William D. Magwood, IV and the Chair of the IFNEC Steering Group, Mr Edward McGinnis. Other speakers included industry and government representatives, as well as experts from other international organisations.
During his opening remarks, Mr Gurría spoke about the need for a level playing field for all low‑carbon technologies in electricity markets and called on IFNEC to help advance efforts to reach consensus regarding issues such as the financing of nuclear new build projects, the transparency of those projects and how best to support appropriate nuclear safety in newcomer countries. Mr Magwood highlighted the potential contributions and outlook for nuclear energy, while stressing the continuing importance of safety considerations when developing these new projects. He also noted: "The ability of low-carbon technologies to be deployed sustainably will depend on the health and effectiveness of electricity markets."
Mr McGinnis considered that the development of implementable finance approaches are critical to addressing global needs in the nuclear area, noting that "financing is not only a key aspect of nuclear energy capacity building, but also of radioactive waste management, decommissioning, nuclear safety and security as well."
Participants closely examined the various challenges of nuclear financing, including financing alternatives for nuclear power projects, financial risk management, establishing confidence in future pricing and return on investment, and innovative financing solutions for investment in clean energy. Experts from the People's Republic of China, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States also presented their respective national approaches to financing nuclear power projects.
"The NEA is pleased to have partnered with IFNEC on the Nuclear Finance Conference to explore the complex issue of financing nuclear power projects," said Mr Magwood. "Many challenges still lie ahead to set the framework for the low-carbon economies of the future, and we look forward to sharing our expertise and working with our colleagues in IFNEC to achieve progress together."
Conference proceedings are in preparation and will be provided online.
Background notes for editors
The International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC) is an NEA Secretariat-serviced body that provides a forum for co‑operation among participating countries to explore mutually beneficial approaches to ensure that the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes proceeds in a manner that is efficient and meets the highest standards of safety, security and non-proliferation. Participating countries do not give up any rights and voluntarily engage to share the effort and gain the benefits of the economical and peaceful use of nuclear energy.
IFNEC membership includes 34 participating countries, 31 observer countries and 4 international observer organisations (the Nuclear Energy Agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Generation IV International Forum and Euratom). There are currently two IFNEC working groups: the Infrastructure Development Working Group (IDWG) and the Reliable Nuclear Fuel Services Working Group (RNFSWG). Further information is available at www.ifnec.org.
The international conference on "Nuclear energy's role in the 21st century: addressing the challenge of financing" is the latest IFNEC installment of a multi-year, stakeholder-wide focus on the financial challenges faced by nuclear energy-related projects. In October 2014, IFNEC published its report on Financing Nuclear Power Projects: New and Emerging Models