Room for nuclear energy in the future: new IEA chief

Sep 07, 2011
The new chief of the International Energy Agency Maria van der Hoeven, pictured in March 2011, said Wednesday nuclear power will have a place in the future despite the Fukushima catastrophe and the decision by some countries to opt out.

The new chief of the International Energy Agency Maria van der Hoeven said Wednesday nuclear power will have a place in the future despite the Fukushima catastrophe and the decision by some countries to opt out.

Van der Hoeven, formerly the Dutch minister for economic affairs, said she would be looking to countries to explain how they plan to cover their energy needs.

"If you would like to abandon nuclear, then my question is: 'How are you going to meet the growing demand of energy when you are abandoning one of your sources?", she said in an interview with AFP.

"That question has to be answered by all those countries and governments who would like to abandon nuclear."

She added: "If the answer is 'we'll do it with renewables', then my question will be 'how'?.

"How cost effective are renewables? How much are they deployed at this moment? How are you going to speed up the curve of renewables so that they're going to be a greater part of the ?"

Van der Hoeven took up the post of IEA executive director on September 1, succeeding Japan's Nobuo Tanaka.

The country is still coming to terms with the massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami which knocked out at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, causing to overheat and radiation to leak.

Germany switched off several of its reactors in the wake of the disaster and has since passed legislation to phase out nuclear energy by 2022.

A recent vote against Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi's plans to resume the country's nuclear programme was also seen as a reflection of popular unease about in Europe after Fukushima.

The Swiss government in May, too, recommended that be phased out.

Van der Hoeven said: "There will be room for nuclear energy in the future.

"I think if we really want to go -- and we do -- towards a future where we have less , there are only two real things to get there, and it has to do with nuclear because it doesn't produce CO2 and it has to do with renewables.

"And in the meantime there is gas. So these are the three things we are talking about."

The Paris-based IEA is the energy branch of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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User comments : 8

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Dug
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 07, 2011
It would be nice to find one pol that isn't in the pocket of the uranium lobby. One that says the truth - that thorium based reactors are infinitely safer than uranium based reactors (no meltdowns) and that thorium is 400 times more abundant than uranium. There may well be a place for nuclear in the future, but not very likely using uranium.
stripeless_zebra
not rated yet Sep 07, 2011
If thorium is safer than uranium then would it be safer to use it in Iranium?
TabulaMentis
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 08, 2011
Maria van der Hoeven is another weirdo in bed with the corporate elite.
ShotmanMaslo
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 08, 2011
Electricity demand will skyrocket in the future. Nuclear will grow rapidly despite Fukushima, and will be a vital baseload for our energetic future.
LuckyExplorer
2 / 5 (4) Sep 08, 2011
"Maria van der Hoeven is another weirdo in bed with the corporate elite." - Correct!

Nuclear power is not cost effective. It is supported at first by governments by huge grants and in addition by a lying lobby.

Everyone of this corrupt mob just sees $ nothing else.
Osiris1
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 08, 2011
The future for energy is stark. Those who go nuclear will survive, and those without will starve...in the dark...and get conquered by those who do have the power. That is the long and short of it. Course in the short term, the initial effect will be countries like France and China being able to really profiteer on the profligancy, ignorance, laziness, and arrogant stupidity of those country's governments that cut off their nuclear option in a 'grand gesture'(delusion) of dereliction of governmental fudiciary responsibility to their unfortunate and deluded and/or propagandized citizens. It is already happening within the United States. Foolish Oregon decided to not build nuclear a long time ago. By the early 1980's it waa so power short that it asked the Washington State Public Power Supply System for power at the same preferential rates provided Washingtonians. WPPSS said no, and Dixy Lee Ray, Wash Governor avered to the profligacy of Oregon that led to its outrageous demands.
Skepticus
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 08, 2011
Thank you all Westerners brainwashed by your govs about the pitfalls of nuclear energy.(In an all out effort to monopolize, restrict, crowbaring and control the tech from being developed fully by their arch enemies the Islamic fanatics countries.) The pragmatic Chinese and others couldn't give a feck about all the ideological bullshit, wars and political posturings. They are building newer, better designs nuclear reactors to response to their growing energy needs. Have a browse through all the realistic, non-theorectical materials, hi-tech innovations publications these days. You will see the Chinese are going gang busters, their researchers and results are everywhere to see. That's a fact the up-turned-noses Westerners tend to denigrade and gloss over to justify their denials and to sooth their egos. When the West are bankrupt from playing with wars and polictics, and their citizens are finally caught up with all the lies, they can buy ready made advanced reactors...again on credits!
Shootist
2.3 / 5 (4) Sep 08, 2011
I'm happy to see someone in public office support the obvious. However, I fail to see how the IEA is at all relevant to the United States.