International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Energy to be held in Beijing

April 15, 2009 10:32 am 

VIENNA, April 15 — The International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century will be held in Beijing from April 20 to 22, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced here on Tuesday.

Nearly 400 representatives from about 65 countries, including 30 government ministers or heads of departments of nuclear energy, are expected to attend the conference, said IAEA Deputy Director- general Yury Sokolov at a press briefing at the agency's headquarters in Vienna.

The Beijing conference is organized by the IAEA in cooperation with the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD-NEA), and hosted by the Government of China.

Major issues to be discussed during this conference include the relationship of energy resources and the environment, the availability of the present technology and the long-term perspectives, the development of infrastructure and the relevant safety and legal issues, as well as fuel supply and waste management.

It will be the second International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Energy. Since the first conference held in Paris in 2005, concerns about energy demand, energy supply security, cost stability, and environmental impacts have assumed an increasingly important role in the energy planning of various states, said Sokolov.

This conference is therefore to provide an opportunity for high level officials and technical experts from a large number of countries to discuss the current status and future prospects for nuclear power, he added.

Sokolov pointed out that it had been increasingly proven in practice that nuclear power was an efficient, clean and environmentally friendly source of energy.

He said that the number of countries taking interest in nuclear power had increased significantly since the Paris Conference, and many countries had asked for the Agency's assistance. Construction started on 10 new reactors around the world last year. (PNA/Xinhua) ALM/ebp

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