Deregulated power markets ignoring benefits of nuclear energy: Expert

Moscow, Deregulated electricity markets suffer from short-term focus and are ignoring the long-term advantages of nuclear energy such as tackling climate change affecting its development, a leading nuclear expert said here Monday.

"Europe led the way in developing nuclear energy, but 60 years on electricity markets and energy strategy is very different. Liberated and deregulated electricity markets suffer from short-term focus and ignore the long-term advantages of nuclear energy" said Agneta Rising, director general of World Nuclear Association (WNA) at the inauguration here of Atomexpo 2014, the sixth edition of the international congress of the nuclear industry organised by Russia's state energy corporation, Rosatom.

"Nuclear energy is a reliable, secure source of supply. In order to tackle climate change we need nuclear energy," Rising added.

Nuclear power remains an important option for many countries, said the International Atomic Energy Agency represented here by its Deputy Director General Alexander Bychkov.

"It is an important option for many countries from the point of energy security, from the perspective of volatile oil prices as well as climate change," Bychkov said.

The theme of this edition of Atomexpo is "Atomic kilowatt hour: A new product in the energy market" and Sergei Kirilenko, director general, Rosatom drew attention to the economics of power generated from nuclear energy.

"It has been seen that cost of electricity generated from nuclear energy is much lower than that from thermal sources," Kirienko said.

"Besides, nuclear fuel can be stored for a long-term, which is not possible with coal," he added.

Kirienko pointed to the importance of integration of functioning in the sector.

"Only integration of companies in the nuclear sector can assure the competitiveness of nuclear energy. We have to function as allies not competitors," he said.

"Russia works in alliances, collaborations, joint ventures with partners in all countries where it has nuclear projects," he added.

Luc Oursel, chief executive of Areva of France, where 75 percent of electricity is generated from nuclear power, illustrated the collaborative nature of the nuclear enterprise.

"Government support is key to the development nuclear energy, as well as generate acceptance of the public, which is concerned about safety and how it benefits from nuclear energy," Oursel said.

He said Areva encourages joint ventures for transfer of technology and creating an efficient supply chain. Describing the process as "localisation", Oursel said governments expect business to be generated from the high investments involved.

"Governments expect companies to provide part of the public acceptance for nuclear energy by providing business and highly specialised jobs and training," Oursel said.

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