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The role of nuclear energy resources in sustainable development

The role of nuclear energy resources in sustainable development

24 September 2020

Expert Group on Resource Management 

 10.00 to 12.00 CEST (Geneva time)
English Only  


EGRM Agenda item 9 (f) Development, maintenance and implementation of UNFC and UNRMS: Nuclear fuel resources:



  1. ECE/ENERGY/GE.3/2020/6 - Integrated life cycle management of nuclear fuel resources for sustainable energy: A concept note
  2. EGRM-11/2020/INF.5 - Draft Report: Application of UNFC and UNRMS: The Role of Nuclear Energy in Sustainable Development - Entry Pathways

Realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development depends on the availability of low-carbon and sustainable energy.. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus the importance of progressing with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with renewed vigour. Investing in clean and affordable energy will play a central role in the recovery from the economic impacts of the pandemic and set the stage for getting on track for the 2030 Agenda. The potential contribution of all low carbon energy resources, including nuclear energy, is being considered by countries. Nuclear is the largest source of low-carbon electricity generation in advanced economies today, providing 40% of all low-carbon generation. In addition to electricity generation, innovative nuclear technology, such as small modular reactors (SMRs), can complement existing large reactors to decarbonize heating and industry, to generate hydrogen and to create synthetic fuel.

The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) and the United Nations Resource Management System (UNRMS) provide a comprehensive framework for the use of all resources, including nuclear energy, on pathways to sustainable energy and achieving low carbon economy. Framing nuclear energy resources as part of an optimal low-carbon energy mix using UNFC and UNRMS will provide a new view on integrated energy development. Such a harmonized approach will be helpful for decision-making in the clean energy transition and place the nuclear industry vision to deliver on a Harmony goal (i.e., to generate 25 per cent of global electricity by 2050) in the proper perspective.  Creating a level playing field in energy markets, harmonizing regulatory processes, and a instituting an effective safety paradigm for all technologies are vital to realizing this goal.

This session will highlight options for considering nuclear energy resources as part of a low-carbon energy mix to realize  the 2030 Agenda through the application of UNFC and UNRMS:

  • The role of nuclear energy during COVID-19 and beyond
  • The Role of Nuclear Energy in Sustainable Development: Entry Pathways
  • Integrated life cycle management of nuclear fuel resource utilization
  • Nuclear energy technology – cost, technology innovation, resources utilization, and waste management.
  • National experience and case studies.

Programme (Download)

Welcome – Scott Foster, Director, Sustainable Energy Division, UNECE

Opening remarks - Agneta Rising, Director General, WNA - The role of nuclear energy for post-COVID recovery

Panel 1: Policy and regulatory imperatives in nuclear energy utilization
Moderated by Scott Foster, Director, Sustainable Energy Division, UNECE

1. The Role of Nuclear Energy in Sustainable Development: Entry Pathways  King Lee, WNA, and Chair, EGRM Nuclear Working Group

2. Costs of Decarbonisation  Michel Berthélemy, OECD-NEA 

3. Nuclear resource utilization: Safety, waste management and decommissioning - Said Abousahl, European Commission, DG-JRC

Discussion, General Q&A 

Panel 2 National approaches to nuclear power deployment
Moderated by Agneta Rising, Director General, WNA

1. Russia nuclear development and support to overseas countries - Yaroslav Mozdakov, Director for Corporate Communications, Rosatom Energy International JSC, Rosatom 

2. Czech Republic nuclear experience and new development - Zuzana Krejcirikova, CEZ Group, Czech Republic

3. Ukraine nuclear resources and utilization case study (In English) (In Russian)– Georgii Rudko, State Commission on Sub-Soil Use

4. Canada nuclear resources development  and advanced nuclear innovation (Video)– Alice Wong, Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Officer, Cameco Corporation 

Discussion, General Q&A

Concluding remarks - King Lee, WNA, and Chair, EGRM Nuclear Working Group


Media Reports


World Nuclear News (24 September 2020) Door opens for nuclear to enter sustainability debate 

Nuclear Engineering International (27 September 2020) New UN report looks at nuclear energy and sustainable development