The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) Nuclear Saves Partnerships will enable the IAEA to accelerate the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the Agency said on 9 June. The Nuclear Saves Partnerships are an opportunity for companies to support the IAEA in transferring nuclear science and technology to countries to improve the health and prosperity of millions of people around the world, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi told US industry leaders.

“We work to bring radiotherapy to communities that do not have it. … We help countries use nuclear techniques to boost their crops by making them hardier in the face of drought… We are also working hard to address two of the world’s biggest challenges: the plastic pollution in our oceans and the frequent outbreaks of zoonotic diseases,” Grossi said in his video statement to the Nuclear Energy Assembly. “Nuclear saves lives,” he stressed.

The assembly, hosted by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), convened leaders from the nuclear energy industry to discuss the future of energy and climate policy. The three-day virtual event explored the critical role of nuclear energy to meet decarbonisation goals and innovate energy generation around the globe.

“Across the world, corporate and government leaders, investors, consumers and voters are deciding how we will re-emerge from the global pandemic on the path to net zero emissions. … The nuclear industry has a role to play,” Grossi said.

The IAEA’s mandate to promote the peaceful, safe and secure use of nuclear technologies worldwide has broad implications for people and the environment. The Agency’s work is made possible with the support of member countries and increasingly with the support of the private sector. Funds from Nuclear Saves Partnerships will enable the IAEA to accelerate the peaceful uses of nuclear energy for cancer diagnosis and treatment, the prevention and control of zoonotic diseases, as well as climate change adaptation, mitigation and transition to clean energy.

“A lab using nuclear techniques to trace microplastics or to spot the next zoonotic disease may seem far removed from a traditional nuclear power plant or an SMR (small modular reactor). However, I believe that expanding the benefit of nuclear science, especially to less advantaged communities, is not only the right thing to do, but that it also helps build trust in the sector. This trust is a prerequisite for nuclear power meeting its potential in helping mitigate climate change,” Grossi noted.

Westinghouse Electric Company has become the first Nuclear Saves partner, and the NEI has agreed to become a Nuclear Saves advocate. Westinghouse is a US-based nuclear power company and a supplier of products and technology for nuclear power plants. Funds from Westinghouse will be directed toward climate change mitigation and clean energy projects related to the integration of nuclear and renewable energy systems, as well as the development of climate smart agricultural practices to mitigate greenhouse gases.

“I invite those gathered today to consider joining us in advancing the beneficial uses of nuclear science and technology across the world,” Grossi said. “I believe that working together on multiple fronts will benefit us all.”