Nuclear Politics

William Magwood / Nuclear And Renewables Provide ‘Very Clear Pathway’ To Carbon Neutrality

By David Dalton
27 May 2021

Countries must make real decisions and choices, NEA head tell Foro Nuclear forum
Nuclear And Renewables Provide ‘Very Clear Pathway’ To Carbon Neutrality
William Magwood: ‘nuclear is here today, nuclear works today’.
Nuclear power is “coming back to the table” as an option for many countries and can work with renewables provide a very clear pathway to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050, the director-general of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency said during an online forum organised by Spanish industry group Foro Nuclear.

William Magwood said “nuclear is here today, nuclear works today”. He said countries are beginning to become serious about climate change and have to make real decisions and choices. “We have seen that nuclear energy is coming back to the table as an option for many countries. We are going to see more and more countries looking at nuclear power.”

Mr Magwood said continued operation of nuclear power plants has been identified as the lowest-cost clean energy production. “Countries are beginning to see this. Nuclear power is the only expandable, dispatchable, low-cost and low-carbon source of electricity. It can make a very important contribution in the future to provide a stable grid,” he said.

“Our modern world is going to be very electricity-dependent, increasingly for transportation, industry and other areas, and electricity is going to be the source of economic and industrial growth in the future. Nuclear power is going to be seen by more and more countries as one of the best ways to ensure that”.

Spain has decided to phase out its fleet of seven commercial nuclear reactors by 2035, but an International Energy Agency report published this week warned this might not be straightforward.

The report said the government needs to closely monitor the financial situation of its “excellent” reactor fleet to prevent any unforeseen or sudden final shutdowns that could significantly deteriorate the security of electricity supply.

Foro Nuclear has repeatedly urged the government to reduce what it recently called the “suffocating” fiscal pressure on the nuclear fleet.

The IEA report said that according to some nuclear licensees, they currently operate their nuclear plants at a loss due to high taxation on nuclear generation and low electricity market prices, so they might opt to exit the market sooner.

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