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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.

Key Accomplishments

High-level launch event at CEM9

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.


Highlights included:

  • 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.




Engagement with women and youth leaders

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.




Launch of a NICE Future webinar series

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.



May 1, 2018 - NICE Future: Creating Opportunities for Cross-Sectoral Cooperation:

July 12, 2018 - NICE Future: Technology Overview: Integrated Nuclear Energy Systems

September 26, 2018 – Nuclear Reimagined and Meeting Clean Energy Goals

November 1, 2018 – Integration of Intermittent Renewables and Nuclear for Low Carbon Society MIT-Japan Joint Study

December 4, 2018 – Generation IV Reactor Systems and Renewable Energy

January 23, 2019 – World Energy Outlook Report

March 25, 2019 – The Promise and Potential of Micro-Reactors


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:


  1. Bring nuclear energy from traditional, nuclear-only fora to broader multilateral discussions on clean energy at both the ministerial and working levels;
  2. Engage both nuclear and non-nuclear energy policy makers and stakeholders in a discussion on the role of nuclear energy in integrated clean energy systems of the future; and
  3. Ensure energy policy-makers are informed of the opportunities and challenges of the full range of options needed to meet global clean energy goals—covering areas of technology feasibility, economics and financing, and stakeholder perspectives.
Key Activities

To advance its strategic objectives, the initiative will undertake work in three categories of activities:


  1. Initiate a cross-sectoral dialogue among experts and energy policy makers on nuclear energy’s role in clean energy systems of the future, encouraging participants to share information, best practices, experience and perspectives.
  2. Develop and disseminate resources for policy-makers, including the development of reports, tools, and other resources to inform clean energy planning, programs, and decision-making.
  3. Build partnerships through outreach and engagement activities, leveraging events, online platforms, social media and other networks and audiences to broaden and multiply the impact of NICE Future through public-facing channels and media.


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:


  • Technology evaluations of integrated energy systems, innovative technologies, storage, and uses;
  • Engagement of policy-makers and stakeholders regarding energy choices for the future;
  • Economic and financial analysis of the valuation of energy system's attributes, market structures, and ability to finance; and
  • Communicating nuclear energy’s role in clean, integrated energy systems.



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.

These include:

  • International Energy Agency (IEA)
  • Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • Generation International Forum (GIF)
  • Women in Nuclear (WiN Global)
  • ClearPath
  • ThirdWay
  • Energy for Humanity
  • Nuclear Industry Council 
  • Nuclear Energy Institute 
  • World Nuclear Association
  • International Framework on Nuclear Energy Collaboration (IFNEC)
  • International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC)
  • American Nuclear Society 
Policy opportunities

NICE Future participants invite written proposals on concrete opportunities for partnership with the initiative. Proposals must:


  1. Align with the objectives and principles of the initiative; and
  2. Target one or more key audiences for the initiative (i.e. energy policy-makers, clean energy stakeholders, public).


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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