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International conference to focus on future of nuclear energy after Fukushima tragedy

June 17, 2013, 13:51 UTC+3

After the tragedy at the Fukushima nuclear power plant confidence in nuclear energy seriously undermined

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VIENNA, June 17 (Itar-Tass) - An international conference, “Nuclear Energy Development in the 21st Century”, will open in St Petersburg on June 27 to involve experts and scientists from dozens of countries, IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano told Itar-Tass on Monday.

The conference will give an opportunity to discuss the future of nuclear energy, Amano said.

After the tragedy at the Fukushima nuclear power plant confidence in nuclear energy was seriously undermined. After the IAEA approved a plan to increase safety of nuclear power stations concrete measures were taken in this field. The IAEA and the member-countries continue to take certain steps in order to increase safety and restore trust to this sector,” the IAEA director-general said, adding that there was need to look back at the Fukushima incident. It is necessary to look forward, he added.

Amino said nuclear energy is an important part of energy balance in many countries. New capacities are indispensable to develop competitiveness and this is related to developing and developed countries. In addition, many world leaders believe that the climate change is the key problem and nuclear energy softens up the effects on the environment: it does not produce greenhouse gases, the IAEA director-general stressed.

In his view, the world has not recovered from the consequences of the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. It is necessary to draw conclusions. The incident was a serious signal to think over safety at nuclear power plants. The key lesson is that safety at nuclear power plants should be in the focus of special attention, Amano said.

Commenting on the future of the atomic sector, the IAEA director-general said it would be necessary to take into account alternative energy sources, including slate gas.

At the same time, Amano said he did not believe that slate gas was a real alternative.

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