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Declaration on Nuclear Energy

We, the leaders of countries operating nuclear power plants, or expanding or embarking on or exploring the option of nuclear power, and the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), gathered in Brussels for the inaugural Nuclear Energy Summit to reaffirm our strong commitment to nuclear energy as a key component of our global strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from both power and industrial sectors, ensure energy security, enhance energy resilience, and promote long- term sustainable development and clean energy transition. We are determined to do our utmost to fulfil this commitment through our active and direct engagement, in particular by enhancing cooperation with countries that opt to develop civil nuclear capacities in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a nationally determined manner, including for transitioning away from fossil fuels, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, as outlined in the First Global Stocktake of the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference. 

Climate change presents an existential threat to our planet and all humankind. The warning signs are mounting worldwide, from raging wildfires to historic floods, making the need to achieve global net-zero greenhouse gas emissions increasingly urgent. In this regard, an increasing number of countries have set their targets for climate neutrality, carbon neutrality, greenhouse gas neutrality, or net zero emissions. The ambitious target of global net zero emissions necessitates a comprehensive approach to radically reduce emissions of the world’s most emission-intensive sectors including electricity generation, transportation, and industry. 

Nuclear energy is a reliable and dispatchable zero emission source of electricity generation and a firm backbone for clean energy systems to keep them resilient and sustainable. We praise the recognition at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of nuclear energy as an essential component of a multifaceted and all-inclusive clean energy transition sufficient to reduce greenhouse gases in an effective, timely, and nationally determined manner. In particular, we welcome the inclusion of nuclear energy in the outcome of the First Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement and welcome the Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy by 2050. 

We commit to work to fully unlock the potential of nuclear energy by taking measures such as enabling conditions to support and competitively finance the lifetime extension of existing nuclear reactors, the construction of new nuclear power plants and the early deployment of advanced reactors, including small modular reactors worldwide while maintaining the highest levels of safety and security, in accordance with respective national regulations and circumstances. In this drive for more clean energy and innovation, we commit to support all countries, especially emerging nuclear ones, in their capacities and efforts to add nuclear energy to their energy mixes consistent with their different national needs, priorities, pathways, and approaches and create a more open, fair, balanced and inclusive environment for their development of nuclear energy, including its non-electrical applications, and to continue effectively implementing safeguards, consistent with Member States’ national legislation and respective international obligations. 

We are committed to continuing our drive for technological innovation, further improving the operational performance, safety and economics of nuclear power plants, enhancing the resilience and security of global nuclear energy industrial and supply chains. We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring safe, secure and sustainable spent nuclear fuel management, radioactive waste management and disposal, in particular deep geological disposal, and decommissioning, including decommissioning by design. We call for an intensified collective effort on ensuring the security of energy supply and resilience of individual, regional, and multinational clean energy resources.

We are committed to creating a fair and open global market environment for nuclear power development to promote exchanges and cooperation among countries. We encourage nuclear regulators to enhance cooperation to enable timely deployment of advanced reactors, including small modular reactors. We emphasize the value of coordinated cooperation in nuclear fuel supply, nuclear power equipment manufacturing and resource security to ensure the stability of the nuclear energy industrial and supply chains.

We reiterate the role of the IAEA as the global centre for cooperation in the nuclear field, including leading to and promoting a strong and sustainable global framework for nuclear safety and security, and verifying adherence to respective safeguards obligations. In this regard, we stand ready to work with the IAEA to identify and provide the necessary resources needed for the fulfilment of these objectives, subject to the availability of funds and any applicable domestic legal requirements.

We support enhancing efforts to facilitate mobilization of public investments, where appropriate, and private investments towards additional nuclear power projects. We emphasize that concrete measures in support of nuclear energy may include, as appropriate, tools such as direct public financing, guarantees to debt and equity providers, schemes to share revenue and pricing risks. We call for greater inclusion of nuclear energy in the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies in the international financial system, considering that it is one of the zero emission sources of power generation that can contribute substantially to decarbonize our societies and enhance a sustainable economic development.

We call upon relevant international organizations and institutions to support appropriate conditions for nuclear energy development. In particular, we invite multinational development banks, international financial institutions and regional bodies that have the mandate to do so to consider strengthening their support for financing nuclear energy projects and to support the establishment of a financial level playing field for all zero emission sources of energy generation.

To ensure the future availability of skilled nuclear sector professionals, we need to contribute further to nuclear education and research, and we consider of the utmost importance to train and retain a large and motivated workforce. Investment in skills, including re-skilling, through education and research is critical for the sector through the whole value chain.

We welcome and support the IAEA in convening, in cooperation with a Member State, another Nuclear Energy Summit in due course to maintain the momentum and continue building support for nuclear energy to decarbonize our world.

© FOD Kanselarij van de Eerste Minister

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