2024 Summit Focuses on Rising Nuclear Energy Momentum

by Adenike Adeodun

As concerns about the rise of carbon footprints grow, many countries, notably in Africa, are gravitating towards nuclear energy for future solutions. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) highlights that this trend will be central at the Nuclear Energy Summit in Brussels from March 21–22, 2024. Here, over 30 nations are set to participate.

According to ESI Africa, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo pointed to Belgium’s recent nuclear plant extensions. These underscore nuclear technology’s crucial role in global energy. Furthermore, the Summit continues the IAEA’s Atoms4NetZero initiative. This initiative focuses on nuclear energy’s potential to reduce fossil fuels, boost energy security, and spur economic growth.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and Prime Minister De Croo will spearhead the summit. Grossi emphasised the mounting interest in nuclear energy. He noted its importance in reducing fossil fuel usage and meeting the demand for green electricity. He added, “Recent shifts highlight nuclear energy as a key solution to major global challenges.”

The summit will shed light on the growing interest in nuclear power. Additionally, it offers a venue for problem-solving within the sector, especially its industrial aspects.

De Croo reflected on Europe’s evolving energy scene. He stressed, “In battling global warming, we need diverse strategies. Nuclear technology, renewables, and hydrogen hold promise for our future industries.”

The summit will welcome state officials, industry pioneers, think tank heads, experts, and community representatives. Topics will range from novel reactor technologies to nuclear-renewable hybrid systems. Furthermore, focused debates will address issues like ensuring a steady nuclear supply and safe reactor dismantling.

De Croo highlighted Belgium’s nuclear strides, referencing the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 power plant extensions. The IAEA projects nuclear capacity could double by 2050, an upward trend in their annual forecasts.

African Nuclear Highlights, 2023:

  • Rwanda secured nuclear deals with Hungary for expertise and with a Canadian-German firm for reactor development.
  • Egypt and Russia are preparing to initiate the El-Dabaa nuclear plant, a first for both Egypt and Rosatom in Africa.
  • South Africa’s Nuclear Corp. partners with Russia’s TVEL on nuclear fuel, affirming its nuclear commitment.
  • Zimbabwe and Ethiopia teamed up with Russia for peaceful nuclear technology projects.
  • With China National Nuclear Corporation’s support, Uganda sees nuclear energy in its 10-year power plan.
  • Ghana joined an IAEA pilot for radioactive disposal, signalling its nuclear ambitions.

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