Days before the Forum

Welcome Address – Agneta Rising

We are meeting this year at the tenth Atomexpo. The first was held in 2009 in Moscow. Since that first conference fifty nuclear reactors have been connected to the grid. Half of these started up in the last three years. Over the next two years another thirty are due to begin operations. 

This acceleration in nuclear build has been achieved in no small part through the globalisation of the nuclear industry and an increasing level of international cooperation and partnership.

One of the key activities of World Nuclear Association is to promote nuclear industry cooperation. We provide a forum and commercial meeting place for leaders and specialists representing all aspects of the nuclear industry. The global industry’s vision of the future of electricity, Harmony, was developed though our Association. 

The Harmony goal is to provide 25% of electricity in 2050, requiring roughly 1000 GWe of new nuclear capacity to be constructed. This will require a level playing field for all low-carbon technologies, harmonized regulatory processes and an effective safety paradigm.

But it also seeks to unite to the whole nuclear community – from research, government, regulation, design, operation, decommissioning and waste management – to play their respective roles towards our common goal.

Working together can help bring nuclear expertise to new countries. This year should see the first reactor at Barakah in United Arab Emirates start up. Next year the first reactor at Ostrovets in Belarus will begin operations. The first reactor in Bangladesh is under construction and preparations are well advanced in Turkey and Egypt is also starting. These newcomer countries are moving forward with their plans for nuclear energy by partnering with companies that can draw on decades of construction and operational experience. But even in countries with long-standing nuclear reactor programmes new build is taking place thanks to cooperation by international partners.

I therefore welcome that this year’s ATOMEXPO is themed around the topic “Global Partnership – Joint Success”. It is only by working together that we can realise the full potential of our industry and maximise the benefit nuclear energy can deliver for humanity.


Agneta Rising
Director General of World Nuclear Association (WNA)

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