Press release

“Nuclear has a very bright future around the world”, says NEA Director-General

May 26, 2021

Foro Nuclear continues #NuclearConversations with William D. Magwood, IV, Director-General of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)

The Director-General of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), William D. Magwood, IV, had a conversation with the President of the Spanish Nuclear Industry Forum (Foro Nuclear), Ignacio Araluce. In this virtual meeting with active participation of the public, Magwood noted that “nuclear is here today, nuclear works today, and nuclear and renewables together provide a very clear pathway to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050”.

William D. Magwood, IV, Director-General of the NEA, has commented in the #NuclearConversations series organized by Foro Nuclear that “countries are beginning to become serious about climate change, and many have begun to push forward their goals”. In this context, Magwood said: “We have to make real decisions and choices. We have seen that nuclear energy is coming back to the table as an option for many countries. We are going to see more and more countries looking at nuclear power.

Mr. Magwood added that continued operation of nuclear power plants has been identified as the lowest-cost clean energy production. “Countries are beginning to see this. Nuclear power is the only expandable, dispatchable, low-cost and low-carbon source of electricity. It can make a very important contribution in the future to provide a stable grid,” he said. “Our modern world is going to be very electricity-dependent, increasingly for transportation, industry and other areas, and electricity is going to be the source of economic and industrial growth in the future. Nuclear power is going to be seen by more and more countries as one of the best ways to ensure that”.

"We are going to see more and more countries looking at nuclear power", NEA Director-General

During his conversation with the president of Foro Nuclear, the head of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency based in Paris underlined that “nuclear and renewables together provide a very clear pathway to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050”. An opinion shared with the president of Foro Nuclear, Ignacio Araluce, since both have agreed on the fact that nuclear and renewables are needed now and in the future and we must coexist.

NEA

At the very beginning of the conversation, the Director-General of the NEA has presented the organization he leads. “NEA brings the world's best experts together. We are working with high-level experts in 34 countries.  We work hard to make sure that we are providing the best value to our member countries. The most important thing is the fact that the NEA has fostered cooperation in countries around the world. We have currently about 27 research projects in which countries participate together,” he said. “The nuclear sector is a globalized sector. Today, we find that the experience that we have in one country impacts what is happening around the world. We disseminate the lessons learned around the world regarding safety and operations.”

The Director-General of the NEA added that Spain is a very valuable member of NEA today. “I think Spain is a very important member of ours, and there is a lot of expertise shared with other members.”

Magwood: “Nuclear technology provides benefits that most people haven't thought about”

Nuclear applications

Mr. Magwood also highlighted the non-electric uses of nuclear power. “Diagnosing diseases, assuring the safety of sites, building better aircaraft, using radiation for beneficial uses, exploring deep space; the only way to do it is using nuclear technology,” he said. “Nuclear technology provides benefits that most people haven't thought about. That's one of the reasons I'm in this field.”

He finished with an encouraging message to young people: “If you are interested in nuclear science and technology, I think you will find that there is no limit to what can be done. Nuclear has a very bright future around the world.”