WEC Congress | Tomorrow’s Nuclear & Today’s Realities

The development of nuclear power today is concentrated in a relatively small group of countries. China, India, Korea and Russia account for 40 of the 65 reactors under construction at the end of 2015. The Fukushima accident and growing public opposition in some regions, the increasing cost of nuclear as a result of a toughening security standards, the difficult economic situation of many incumbents of the nuclear industry, and the decreasing costs of natural gas and renewables has split countries in these where governments put nuclear power firmly on the agenda and these where nuclear is seen as too difficult an option. Meanwhile, technological development continues in areas such as Fast Neutron Reactors (generation IV reactors), High Temperature Reactors and Small Modular Reactors and R&D efforts maintain the ultimate vision of fusion power.

Questions

  1. What are the risks and challenges associated with nuclear operation and development?
  2. What are the key drivers defining the future of nuclear power? Will future drivers for nuclear differ from past drivers?
  3. What are the future nuclear technology trends? Will small nuke’s realize their promise to lower entry barriers and bring down costs through “commoditisation”?
Discussion Leader(s): Wang Binghua, Chairman, State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), China ; Jeff Benjamin, Senior Vice President, New Plants & Major Projects, Westinghouse Electric Company, USA ; Lauri Virkkunen, President and CEO; Chair, Pohjolan Voima Oy; Finland Member Committee, Finland ; Agneta Rising, Director General, World Nuclear Association, UK ; Kirill Komarov, First Deputy CEO for Corporate Development and International Business, Rosatom, Russia ; Naohiro Masuda, Chief Decommissioning Officer, TEPCO, Japan ; Qin Sun, Chairman, China National Nuclear Corporation, China ; William D. Magwood, Director-General, Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), France
Topic: Technology frontiers