The World Economic Forum in Davos this week heard how nuclear technology is vital in a future clean energy mix, from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and other energy experts speaking at various lunch sessions and meetings.

The first such session was on the topic of new nuclear technologies, covering nuclear energy developments and the environments needed to ensure their uptake. This lunch conversation was chaired by Grossi and was the Forum’s launch into nuclear as it broadens its energy programme. Presentations looked at the current and future roles of nuclear power in the energy mix, and the commercial possibilities being unlocked by small modular reactors (SMRs) and fusion technology.

Later Grossi took part in a high-level reception with Microsoft founder and nuclear energy advocate Bill Gates and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo on ‘Clean Tech Innovation on the Road to Net Zero’. De Croo highlighted Belgium’s ongoing commitment to achieving a clean energy transition and Gates emphasised its ability to support other green energy technologies. “We really need to get going with nuclear mixing with renewables,” he said. “Nuclear is complementary to a lot more renewables, maybe 50-90% of renewables."

Grossi discussed how important global inclusivity and non-proliferation are to this ongoing effort and introduced the first ever Nuclear Energy Summit, which will be held in Brussels in March. “It’s incredible that after seventy years of the commercial operation of nuclear power there was never an opportunity for world leaders to get together like this on this topic, he noted. “In Brussels we will discuss the possibilities, discuss the issue of finance, and talk about addressing this global challenge of climate change.”

Grossi is also attending other meetings that discussed the opportunities offered by low-carbon nuclear power, including a dialogue between engineering experts and senior policymakers, and a session on how the Middle East and North Africa can best decarbonise their energy sectors.

Image courtesy of IAEA