Nuclear energy makes important contributions to global clean energy supply, both as a primary source of clean energy and by complementing and enabling other clean energy sources. Existing and planned nuclear capacity will continue to play a role in meeting clean energy goals in the future. At the same time, innovative applications of nuclear technologies and advanced nuclear energy systems could yield solutions in both the electric and non-electric sectors.
There remains a need for dialogue and exploration of the roles that clean, innovative and advanced nuclear technologies could play in simultaneously furthering economic growth and effective environmental stewardship. This dialogue cannot happen solely in traditional nuclear fora; to be successful, it must work across sectoral boundaries to develop integrated perspectives on the complementary roles that nuclear energy could play alongside all other forms of clean energy.
To this end, countries have launched the Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) initiative under the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM). This initiative seeks to start a dialogue on the role that nuclear energy can play in clean energy systems of the future. In this way, the “NICE Future” initiative seeks to addresses nuclear energy holistically within the context of broader clean energy systems, as opposed to a singular focus on specific nuclear technologies and associated issues. The goal of this initiative is to bring nuclear energy from traditional, nuclear-only fora to a broader, cross-sectoral discussion on clean energy at the ministerial level.
Countries launched the NICE Future initiative at CEM9 in a multilateral, cross-sectoral discussion of the roles that advanced nuclear energy can play alongside other clean energy sources. They discussed addressed power system integration and transformation, such as through nuclear renewable systems. It also explored opportunities for nuclear energy technologies to reduce emissions and air pollution from the power generation, industry, and other end-use sectors.
Opening remarks by lead countries (United States, Canada, Japan);
Remarks from emerging and embarking countries supporting the initiative;
A panel discussion featuring industry, expert, and civil society perspectives, and closing remarks by head of the International Energy Agency and Nuclear Energy Agency;
An engaging visual display on innovative and integrated clean energy systems and uses.
High-level representatives from lead and participating countries engaged women and youth leaders on the NICE Future initiative at a joint International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC) and Women in Nuclear (WiN) conference in Bariloche, Argentina in April 2018. Representatives from Argentina, Canada, and the United States organized a workshop to gather perspectives from women and youth on the role of nuclear energy in clean energy systems of the future, and challenged participants to suggest ways to partner under the NICE Future initiative.
A challenge to youth and women leaders to submit proposals on concrete activities for partnership under the NICE Future initiative
Challenge accepted: millennials eager to shape world's nuclear narrative - United States Department of Energy blog post
In May 2018, lead countries kicked off a NICE Future webinar series, featuring an inaugural webinar that provided an introduction to the initiative's strategic goals, key activities, and opportunities for engagement.
Going forward, this webinar series will engage policy makers, experts, and interested stakeholders from nuclear energy and other clean energy fields to share information on the roles for nuclear energy in enabling clean energy systems of the future. This series of hour-long presentations will provide overviews on technical research, economic analysis, policy updates, and case studies of innovation being developed by countries and other groups to explore nuclear energy’s roles, together with other clean sources, , such as variable renewables, in support of clean energy priorities.
The NICE Future initiative aims to initiate a dialogue on the role that clean and reliable nuclear energy can play in bolstering economic growth, energy security and access, and environmental stewardship—with a focus on innovative applications for advanced nuclear systems to enable coordinated and integrated clean energy systems of the future.
The initiative seeks to achieve this goal in support of the following strategic objectives:
To advance its strategic objectives, the initiative will undertake work in three categories of activities:
The initiative allows for a focus on both the role of full-scale nuclear for baseload energy services as well as next-generation technologies—including integrated renewable-nuclear energy systems and electric and non-electric applications. Key activities will explore four cross-cutting themes:
In 2018, the NICE Future initiative successfully launched at the ninth Clean Energy Ministerial.
Fifteen out of 25 CEM members have expressed interest or joined the initiative.
Key cross-sectoral partners from multilateral organizations, industry, and civil society—including women and youth leaders—have been engaged to partner on the initiative.
NICE Future participants invite written proposals on concrete opportunities for partnership with the initiative. Proposals must:
Significant weight will be given to activities that include clean energy stakeholders outside the nuclear sector and expand clean energy conversations.
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