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Nuclear energy: the future or the past?

A Note by the Director                                                                                     Ditchley 16/01

Introduction

The first conference of 2016 saw Ditchley taking a hard look at the prospects for nuclear energy, some four years after the Fukushima accident. Most of those around the table were from the industry, which meant many were inclined to be positive, but no-one dodged the difficult issues, and we had enough other voices to keep the discussion balanced. We missed perspectives from China and India, but otherwise had a good variety of global experience on which to draw, and a dynamic Chair to keep us on the rails.

Summary

The world was going to need a lot more electricity in future, and the problems of climate change had to be tackled seriously. This should provide a favourable context for more nuclear power, but this was not really the case, at least outside Asia. If the number of nuclear plants in operation or planned had not changed much in the wake of Fukushima, its share of global power production was falling. For now the momentum was with renewables and gas, on the assumption that coal would be phased out over time for climate change reasons. Both had obvious disadvantages but nuclear had a longer list of problems associated with it, which we examined in turn.

The capital needed to finance construction of new plants was a major issue, particularly in Europe following the problems of the EPR reactors in Finland and France, and extra safety requirements in the light of Fukushima. Investors were worried about cost and time overruns and the uncertain political and regulatory environment. It was not clear that nuclear could be commercially viable in unregulated electricity markets where common benefits were not valued and externalities, particularly carbon emissions, were not priced in. Public subsidies were for the most part going to renewables, where the effects could be more quickly realised, with the problems of intermittency being largely ignored. These problems affected particularly countries trying to start or restart nuclear programmes. Countries like Korea, where reactor construction had continued steadily, using tried and tested technologies, had the confidence, experience and skills to deliver plants on time and on budget.

Safety was obviously a major concern, following Fukushima, though experts round the table regarded many fears as exaggerated. The main overall lesson had been that risks could not all be designed away. Operators and regulators had to plan for the unexpected and the improbable, and be ready to respond accordingly. There were some valuable technical lessons too. The most important factor in safety was human, which meant a pervasive safety culture was essential, with safeguards against complacency built in. Regulators had to be independent, but they also needed experienced staff. More international cooperation between regulators was also essential, to stop national regulators constantly reinventing the wheel and gold-plating safety requirements.

The problems of nuclear waste loomed large in public consciousness because long-term solutions did not yet seem to have been found. In practice, the answer was clear – deep underground burial – but local opposition had so far prevented its implementation. It might now finally start to be put into practice, in Finland and France. But the opponents of nuclear power would not easily give up one of their most powerful arguments. Similarly decommissioning was not as difficult or costly as many claimed.

Nuclear proliferation remained a major concern, though the relationship between civil and military programmes was complex. The biggest problems were around uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing. There was an opportunity here to build on the Iran deal and multi-lateralise the provisions agreed there. The P5 plus 1 should convene an expert meeting soon to look at how this might be done, perhaps at Ditchley: beginning with enrichment and possibly multi-national ownership, and moving on to plutonium, might provide a useful follow-on to the Iran agreement and cover the P-5 and other key non-nuclear states. We spent less time on the risks of terrorist attack or cyber threats, without denying their potential importance.

How far might new technology change the terms of the nuclear debate? Implementable fusion plants still seemed 50 years away, and there were fears that the effort going into this technology was crowding out research into improving fission. Small Modular Reactors were seen by many as a hopeful way forward, and had their supporters round our table, especially for particular circumstances such as remote communities or power-hungry industries. But there was also scepticism about lack of economy of scale, and security concerns.

Our conclusion was that the debate about the benefits and disadvantages of nuclear power would remain emotional and difficult. It was not the answer to all our power and climate change problems but it could and should be part of the answer. For that to be the case, the proponents of nuclear had to break out of a bunker mentality, take on the arguments, and create a new narrative. Governments needed to think long term about policy and technology, and ensure that the debate about different fuel sources was on a level playing field. None of this would be easy – and another serious accident would make it much harder still.

Main Note

The context

The fundamental starting point was that the world was going to need far more energy, particularly electricity, than now. Electricity demand might be falling slightly in Europe, but in many other places it was set to rise, not least as its advantages as a flexible and relatively clean source of energy came to be appreciated even more. Access to energy was still largely absent for large swathes of the global population, which was unacceptable in the 21st century. So a lot more generating capacity was going to be needed. Where was it going to come from? Smart grids and distributed power might provide part of the answer, but certainly not all. So where did nuclear fit into this?

Our narrower starting point was the state of the nuclear industry today, post-Fukushima. We noted that 439 reactors were currently operating, as opposed to 443 before the accident; that 66 reactors were under construction now, compared to 62 before; that there were serious plans for 158 more compared to 156 then; and longer-term concepts for 330 now compared to 322 then. This might suggest that not much had changed. However, these figures concealed a significant shift towards Asia as the main focus of new build activity, and serious problems in Europe, particularly Germany. They also meant that any ideas there might have been pre-Fukushima that we were about to see a nuclear energy renaissance were currently on hold. In practice the relative share of nuclear in global electricity production was falling, even if the absolute figure was little changed.

The broader context was that of climate change. The COP21 meeting in Paris had marked a major turning point in collective global determination to do something serious about this, in order to keep warming to no more than 1.5°C if at all possible.  Whether or not the agreements reached in Paris were sufficient to deliver this objective (which was highly doubtful), the direction of travel was clear. And a ton of carbon saved now was worth a lot more than one saved in thirty or forty years’ time. This should provide a highly favourable background against which to consider the advantages of nuclear power, given its excellent position on CO2 emissions. However, this conclusion was not being drawn in many countries, though China was a notable exception. The question we needed to answer was, why?

One obvious response might be that many governments around the world were not as serious or urgent about tackling climate change as they claimed. There was plenty of evidence for this. Another major factor was that many governments had been putting their climate change emphasis on developing renewables and ploughing in money and subsidies accordingly (though they should really be putting much more emphasis on energy efficiency). The percentage of electricity coming from renewables was rising rapidly, particularly from wind and solar sources. This did not need to be negative for nuclear power, since the two should be seen as complementary, with nuclear providing the steady, dispatchable baseload which renewables currently could not. However, there did often seem to be a zero-sum game between the two, and nuclear was certainly losing out for the moment. There was no doubt that renewables enjoyed high public support and that money put into them could produce results much more quickly than investment in nuclear, even if their commercial viability was still far from proven.

Paradoxically, gas was being seen by many as the baseload provider, at least in the short to medium term, despite the fact that it caused significant emissions itself, even if much less than coal. Again investment in new gas plants could produce extra generating capacity much more quickly than nuclear.  Both gas and renewables were therefore likely to be crowding out nuclear in the next few years, if current trends continued.

The current emphasis on renewables was seen by many around the table as short-sighted. Although renewables certainly had a significant role to play, their problem of intermittency was fundamental once a certain level of generation share was reached. This could not simply be wished away, as the Germans and Danes would find out in due course. While solutions in the area of storage could in principle fix this problem, the engineers around the table were sceptical that this could happen any time soon, at least at an affordable cost, despite the claims of battery makers. However, others suggested that developments such as more distributed generation, smart grids, more interconnectors etc. could undermine the classic argument about baseload.

Whatever the truth here, it was clear that nuclear energy still had to overcome, at least in most western countries, a significant combination of problems and suspicions before it could take off again seriously. These related particularly to affordability, safety, waste and proliferation. We therefore looked at each of these areas in some detail, as recorded below.

Even if nuclear could overcome these doubts and become much more politically and publicly acceptable, it was not clear that it could be in a position to be a major contributor to reducing climate change in a timely enough way. That would mean bringing many hundreds of new reactors on stream in the next 20 or 30 years, which was not plausible. However, this was only part of the lack of plausibility of climate change plans more generally – 82/83% of energy was still coming from fossil fuel sources, despite all the talk, and it was hard to see how that could be changed as fast as was thought by the scientists to be necessary: it was clear that fossil fuels would remain plentiful for the foreseeable future, and the current very low prices hardly encouraged moves to give them up.

The financing of nuclear power

The question of affordability loomed large in our discussions, especially the capital cost of constructing large new reactors. Projects in the UK were for example currently struggling with this, despite a politically favourable wind from the Government, including a future “strike price” seen as generous to a fault, and a reasonable degree of support from public opinion. The cost issue was also closely associated with the duration of construction. There was a widespread fear that nuclear projects were now inevitably subject to major cost and time over-runs. Despite the historically very low cost of capital, and the present phenomenon of lots of money looking for a productive home, therefore, investors ready to put their money into nuclear projects were currently thin on the ground.

We noted that this was far from a universal phenomenon, and was indeed for the most part confined to Europe. Much of this stemmed from the negative stories around the new EPR reactors in France and Finland, both of which were now hugely over time and budget. But there was also a wider lesson. Countries which had sustained a steady, continuous programme of nuclear construction, using tried and tested technologies, governed by seasoned regulators, had been able to reach a point where both cost and time of construction were predictable and attainable. France had been the poster child for this in the 1980s. More recently Japan and Korea had shown the way. By contrast countries which had suffered from a hiatus in construction, or were trying to start from scratch, had a mountain to climb in terms of new and unfamiliar technology, lack of experience and skills, worries about public acceptability, and uncertain political commitment as governments changed within the lifetime of the projects.

We discussed the extent to which costs were rising because of the insistence of regulators on gold-plating safety requirements post-Fukushima, to an extent which went beyond the reasonable or the standards which would be applied to other fuel sources. This was seen as a problem by some. Design intensity such as insistence on four of every component and ever thicker walls could not go much further. However, this was not seen as the only or even the principal explanation for cost escalation.

The underlying issue was how far nuclear plants could be commercially viable. The answers here were complex. A plant whose capital cost had been absorbed/written off should be able to operate very competitively, especially if operating lives were extended, for example to 80 years, as in principle they could be. But otherwise servicing the initial investment was bound to be a major burden, with decommissioning costs seen as a further downside. It was argued by some that, even where the initial investment was not an issue, as with some older plants in some US states, they did not seem to be able to compete in current circumstances, and were being closed.

This raised the wider question of whether nuclear energy could ever be viable in unregulated commercial electricity markets, where no account was taken of the wider benefits for the common good of nuclear energy – not just less CO2 emissions, but also less of other types of dangerous air pollution, provision of solid baseload, diversity and independence of supply, and so on. The answer for many round the table seemed to be no, at least if the unregulated markets operated as they did now, with no carbon price or proper pricing in of other externalities for other fuels. Some participants suggested that unless governments stepped in to even out the playing field, new nuclear builds in many western countries were likely to be few and far between. Strong regulation and long-term government energy policies were therefore essential to nuclear energy’s future.

This was not accepted by everyone round the table. Several pointed out that it was not really good enough to argue that any system which did not result in positive nuclear choices had to be flawed by definition. Nuclear power had risks associated with it which could not simply be glossed over on the basis of a consensus within the industry that the problems were all exaggerated. It had to prove its case to investors, politicians and public through its own merits.

Safety

Here we focussed primarily on the international response to the 2011 Fukushima accident. This had moved from an initial international view that it did not change anything serious to a more considered attitude that it meant a rethink in some fundamental ways. There had also been different responses in different parts of the world. The reaction had been strongest and most negative in continental Europe, no doubt influenced by memories of Chernobyl. Elsewhere, and particularly where there were long-standing nuclear programmes, such as in the UK, US and Canada, the reaction had been more measured. In Asia, outside Japan itself, there had been a significant psychological and political impact, which had had to be taken into account, but no serious going back on commitment to nuclear power.

The biggest single lesson from the disaster had been a move away from thinking that the risk of accidents could be designed away, and all eventualities anticipated, towards a realisation that the improbable had to be expected. The key was therefore to ensure that the response was right when it did happen. Flexibility and nimbleness were crucial. One of the most instructive elements had been the contrast between the way the managers of the Daini and Daichi plants at Fukushima had reacted. One had waited for political instruction/clearance in a hierarchical way, and failed to act quickly enough. The other had just gone ahead with what needed to be done. The difference between the two outcomes was dramatic.

More technical lessons were about acceptance that nuclear cores could indeed fully melt down, and that therefore new measures to deal with that were needed, although there had still been differences between countries on the right measures, for example on the value of filtered vents. The need for offsite power sources and the availability of satellite phones to enable quick reporting and information flow were other basic practical lessons which had been learned.

There was a general realisation that governments around the world had failed to provide sufficient timely and reliable information to their publics about events at Fukushima. Greater transparency had to be one of the answers, together with better information flow between regulators from different countries and between different agencies within countries.

As far as regulators themselves were concerned, the need for their independence had been reinforced. The previous Japanese regulatory agency, of NISA, had clearly been too close to the operators, although its NRA successor might have initially over-reacted by not talking to operators enough. Had regulators generally over-reacted to Fukushima and insisted on unnecessary safety precautions? There had been examples of this, particularly in Japan, but on the whole we thought the reactions had been appropriate, particularly the healthy re-examination of risk and the kind of stress-testing which had been done in Europe. Nevertheless there was still room for improvement in regulatory skills and reactions. Outside experts could often contribute more than was appreciated, for example. But the biggest single need was to ensure the availability of enough appropriately trained and experienced staff, which meant ensuring enough young people coming through.

As a general point, there was a real problem about the benefits and risks posed by nuclear power, which were clearly international, and decision-making about nuclear plants and their regulation, which remained very nationally focussed. This created a mismatch which needed a lot more international cooperation to overcome. Regulators also needed to find ways of accommodating innovation more easily, without imposing safety requirements which killed it off before it had a chance to show its value.

The point was made several times by supporters of nuclear energy that the nuclear accidents we had seen, even Fukushima, had caused very few fatalities or long-term radiation effects. The fears they had aroused therefore tended to be exaggerated and irrational. Other energy sources had major accidents with greater fatalities without their very rationale being questioned in the same way. However, others pointed out that the potential destructive effect of a nuclear accident was always bound to be seen as more significant and longer-lasting than that of other fuels, even if some fears were not fully scientifically based, given for example levels of background radiation in many countries. Moreover, fatalities were not the only measure of damage – dislocation of populations, economic losses, long-term denial of land use etc. could also be very significant. The consequences of Fukushima could have been much more dramatic if wind directions following the accident had been different.

We also noted that accident risks inevitably rose as the number of operating plants around the world grew, for example in China. They were also likely to be greater as many of the current plants aged, and as new plants in countries with less strong government supervision and safety cultures came on stream.

The question of the degree of real risk was obviously not one we could resolve around the table at Ditchley. In any case, even if the risks were exaggerated in some ways, that was not how many of our publics saw it, and they would not be persuaded otherwise just because proponents of nuclear power, even scientists, said so. Serious and sustained community outreach was needed, and a new and more convincing narrative.

Many participants stressed that the most important protection against accidents was not technological or regulatory but a deep-rooted and constantly renewed safety culture, for example throughout the workforces of the operators, starting from the top. This meant that one final, paradoxical concern was the risk of complacency if there was a long period without an accident. The succession of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima had at least ensured that everyone in the industry remained on their toes.

Decommissioning and waste

The apparent failure to find acceptable long-term solutions to the problem of the disposal of nuclear waste was seen as a major cause of lack of public trust in the nuclear industry. It was certainly one of the main arguments used by the active opponents of nuclear energy, including by green activists who might otherwise rally to the nuclear cause for climate change reasons. Indeed it was even argued in the conference that those opposed to nuclear power were desperate to ensure that a solution to waste issues was not found, precisely because it was such a powerful argument, and were actively trying to make sure there was no progress in this area.

Several experts among the participants argued that, contrary to popular perceptions, the solution to waste problems was already known and clear – deep underground site disposal would work, as long as the geology was right, and would not be anything like as costly or difficult as often argued. For example long-term monitoring would hardly be needed, particularly if the most radioactive forms of waste were vitrified.

The obvious problem was that deep underground storage had not yet properly happened anywhere, due in many places to local opposition. However, there were hopes that this would soon change, in Finland and France, where good sites had been identified and local opposition did not seem to be a problem. This could begin to change the dynamics of the arguments.

Another possibility was some country deciding to take on the storage of nuclear waste and spent fuel as a commercial proposition for all takers. South Australia was believed to be considering this, and had the space and geology to make a success of it. Again this could transform the situation.

Were there viable alternatives to underground storage? We did not think so. Sending it off into space looked like a non-starter for cost reasons. Surface storage, where waste could be monitored more easily, might seem to have some superficial attraction. It was currently being used in the US as a stop gap solution and had some supporters. But long-term monitoring and protection would be expensive – and who was to say whether a responsible government would still be in place in a few hundred years’ time in any particular place, to maintain the protection and the monitoring? The latter point was one of  the advantages of deep burial, which would be very hard to disturb whatever was happening on the surface.

Decommissioning also had problems of perceptions, with many thinking that the technical problems had not yet been solved, and that the cost implications were still not properly factored into nuclear plants. Again, the experts suggested that these claims were not well-founded. We knew how to do decommissioning and had indeed already done it. The costs could be accurately estimated. However, these points had not yet been properly integrated into collective thinking or communicated to wider publics. This needed to be corrected.

New technologies

We spent some time discussing the prospects for future nuclear technology, starting with the advance to so-called third and fourth generation reactors. Some third generation technology was already operating in Korea with the APR1000 and the first APR1400, with the focus on safety improvements. Fourth generation technology, particularly aimed at efficient fast reactors, was still some time away, and likely to be expensive. We were therefore agreed that the focus for now should be on delivering third generation technology on time and on budget.

Looking even further ahead, was implementable fusion technology any closer now than it had been? On the whole we thought not. It remained some 50 years away, as it had been 50 years ago, or might be even further off. Projects like the European co-operation over ITER were making scientific progress, which was valuable and could lead to unpredictable benefits. But commercial energy production was still not anywhere within sight, and technical challenges such as the safe management of tritium would be hard to overcome. More fundamentally, it was not entirely clear now why fusion should be seen as so much more desirable than fission. The idea of an infinite supply of energy with no need for new fuel sounded attractive, but it was unlikely to be cheaper than fission, and no shortage of uranium was likely for hundreds of years. A fully closed fuel cycle with much less waste was appealing, but not in itself a knock down argument in economic terms. Meanwhile, some around the table were concerned that the fusion effort was in reality more political than economic and that some of the considerable sums of money going into it could be better spent on improving fission technology (which attracted very little R&D funding at present).

One development often seen as an attractive way forward was that of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). They already existed to propel submarines and aircraft carriers. The particular advantage of SMRs for power generation purposes would be precisely their modular nature, in other words the ability to construct them in factories on a production line basis, rather than on the spot in the place where they would be used, with consistent quality therefore better assured. This would particularly apply to the smaller end of the SMR spectrum, producing 50/60 megawatts. Some saw such SMRs as deployable either individually, in remote places in need of power, from Alaska to parts of Africa; or in series serving larger communities, for example within existing nuclear sites. The aim would be to avoid the current trap of large new reactors – very high initial capital costs, long construction times and unpredictable regulatory requirements.

There were however sceptical voices. While SMRs were certainly possible in technological terms, their obvious drawback would be lack of economy of scale, which would not help attract investors. Moreover, the co-operation of the regulators through, in effect, licensing a series of reactors rather than each one individually, could by no means be taken for granted. This went back to the problem of national decision-making in regulation. There were also other doubts about the cost of protecting small reactors against attack, especially in remote places, and about whether local communities would accept that they were as safe as their manufacturers claimed.

Nevertheless, several companies and governments were seriously interested in developing and deploying SMRs, perhaps combined with district heating projects or sited close to power-hungry chemical plants. The first examples were unlikely to appear for another ten years, but they were certainly a branch of the nuclear industry worth following.

Proliferation and security

How strong was the link between civil nuclear programmes and the development of military nuclear technology? This had long been a controversial issue. Our group was clear that there was a link but that it was not a linear or simple one. So while the spread of civilian nuclear energy, both geographically and in terms of numbers, increased the proliferation risks, it was hard to say how great the increase would be, or how difficult it would be to combat these increased risks. It was certainly not just a question of numbers of reactors. Increasing nuclear energy in volatile and troubled areas like the Middle East was bound to increase the proliferation risks more than the same number of new reactors in, say, Latin America. It was also true that countries could develop a military nuclear programme without having a civil energy programme as such. North Korea was an example, though they had had research reactors, and had always claimed to be aiming for a civil programme.

Proliferation could be from state to state or from state to non-state actors. The rise of groups like ISIS was particularly troubling. There was also concern that both Russia and China could use the export of nuclear technology in strategic ways without fully factoring in the proliferation risks; and that if other vendors dropped out of the business, the Russians and Chinese could finish up with close to a monopoly in such a delicate and dangerous area.

In all cases the proliferation risks were highest where uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing were part of the picture. It was argued by some that, since plutonium processing was unlikely to become commercially competitive for the foreseeable future, it should be effectively deferred or even outlawed, given the proliferation risks. However, others made the point that plutonium processing was not going to go away, any more than uranium enrichment. What we needed were new and more effective international regimes.

Here we agreed that the recently concluded deal between the P5+1 and Iran offered a unique and possibly fleeting opportunity to move towards such international solutions, by multi-lateralising the requirements agreed in the Iran deal. The aim would be gradually to eliminate the use of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU), and to ensure that uranium enrichment could only be done through an agreed multilateral framework. This could for example establish an agreed group of governments or companies licensed to do enrichment on behalf of all, and obliged to supply all with genuine needs.

It was suggested that some kind of international process should be established soon to take forward this idea, beginning with enrichment and multi-lateralisation. The P5+1 could for example convene an expert group, with wide international participation, including Iran, as a first step towards appropriate recommendations (Ditchley would be an ideal setting for such a group). This could be attractive to Iran because it would feel less singled out for special measures, and to other developing countries because they would gain access to enrichment and would also have an agreed mechanism which left them less at the mercy of the big powers. It could also help to provide an answer to long term limitations on Iran’s enrichment. The positive momentum created by the confluence of the Iran deal and the COP21 agreement offered a positive context in which to try to move forward positively in this crucial area.

As a wider point the group were concerned that the IAEA might no longer be fit for purpose as an agency regulating these risks and ensuring that there was sufficient early warning about the chances of break out from civil nuclear programmes to military capability. Its position as a promoter of nuclear energy as well as the guardian of the system set up tensions and potential conflicts of interest. Moreover its efforts were seen by many as discriminatory. It needed serious reform in its procedures and much greater resources if it was to do the job the world needed in the future.

We spent much less time than expected on the risks of terrorism and cyber attack. Was this because these risks were overblown and paled into insignificance beside the proliferation risks we had talked about? That was the argument made by some. But lack of time and perhaps appropriate expertise also played their parts. The biggest single risk in this area was seen to lie in weak states with vulnerable civil programmes.

Conclusions

We did not reach a neat set of conclusions, with the exception of the recommendation on multi-lateralising the Iran deal. A lot of the arguments were also not new. However, the context was always changing. Much of our discussion on this occasion turned, as recorded at different points above, on the relative merits of nuclear, renewables and gas as the source of the extra power the world was going to need – this on the assumption that coal would be gradually phased out because of emissions, however many years this might take in some regions and some countries. For the moment, gas and renewables both had momentum behind them in a way which nuclear simply did not. While both had their disadvantages, neither had anything like as long a list of real/perceived problems as nuclear. Climate change was the best argument for nuclear but it was not seen as sufficiently all-encompassing as to outweigh the other issues.

Some were therefore inclined to be relatively gloomy about the prospects for nuclear energy. However, any such conclusion needed to be examined carefully. First of all, these doubts weighed most heavily in Europe, and were much less influential elsewhere, particularly Asia. Second, there was still a strong view in many quarters that the challenge of climate change had to be met by an “all of the above” approach to alternatives to fossil fuels, which gave nuclear its chance. And thirdly arguments for diversity and independence of fuel supply could also work significantly in favour of nuclear. If the waste argument could begin to be dealt with through effective and long term disposal solutions, as seemed possible, that would also make a significant difference.

How much of a country’s electricity should be produced by nuclear energy if programmes could be maintained? The example of Korea, aiming at a long term 30% share, seemed persuasive. The Korean example of technology standardisation, policy consistency, quality and timeliness of construction, and strong safety culture, also looked attractive.

If we had an overall conclusion, therefore, it was that nuclear should have its place in our energy futures. It might not be the answer but it was part of the answer. However, saying this would not be enough. Nuclear would remain an emotional issue. The industry needed to break out of its bubble, which some described as its siege mentality, engage forthrightly with the arguments, and tackle head on some of the problems identified above. Clear, long-term thinking and policies were needed, together with sensible and consistent technology choices. Success in a particular country would need a good combination of political support, availability of finance, the right infrastructure and a favourable business and regulatory context. “Dabblers would fail”, as one participant put it. Even then another major accident somewhere in the near future could kill off nuclear’s chances in many countries. It would be a rocky and difficult road ahead.

This Note reflects the Director’s personal impressions of the conference. No participant is in any way committed to its content or expression.

CHAIR: Lady Judge CBE 
Chairman, Institute of Directors (2015-); Chair, Energy Institute, University College London; Chairman Emeritus, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority; Chairman, UK Pension Protection Fund (2011-); Deputy Chairman, TEPCO Reform Committee and Chairman of its Task Force on Nuclear Safety; Director, NV Bekaert SA (Brussels); Adviser, Statoil (Norway); Director, Magna International (Canada), among others. Formerly: Executive Director, Samuel Montagu & Co. Ltd; Director, News International; Commissioner, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A Governor and a Member of the Programme Committee and Business Committee, The Ditchley Foundation.

AUSTRALIA

Dr Adrian Paterson BSc, PhD 
Chief Executive Officer, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (2009-). Formerly: General Manager, Business Development and Operations, Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Company (Pty) Ltd, South Africa (2006-08); Group Executive (equivalent), Department of Science and Technology, South African Government (2002-06); Executive Vice-President (Technology) and CIO, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa (1994-2002); successively Chief Researcher, Group Leader, Program Manager, Division Director, Division of Materials Science and
Technology, CSIR (1984-94).

CANADA

Dr Richard Florizone Ph.D., FCAE 
President, Dalhousie University (2013-). Formerly: Vice-President (Finance & Resources), University of Saskatchewan (2005-13); Senior Advisor, International Finance Corp., World Bank Group (2012); Director, Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation (2011-12); Director, Canadian Light Source (2005-12); Chair, Uranium Development Partnership (2008-09); Consultant, Boston Consulting Group (1999-2001, 2003-04).

Professor Jatin Nathwani PhD, P.Eng 
Founding Executive Director, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy; Ontario Research Chair in Public Policy for Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo (2007-). Formerly: leadership roles in Canadian energy sector.

CANADA/USA

Mr Preston Swafford

Chief Nuclear Officer, President & CEO, Candu Energy (2014-); international advisory group member, Japan Nuclear Safety Institute. Formerly: Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer, Nuclear Power Group, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) (2007-14); Senior Vice President, Nuclear Support, TVA (2006-07); Senior Vice President, Exelon Energy Delivery Operations and Technical Service, Exelon Corporation; member, Nuclear Safety Review Board (NSRB), Ginna nuclear power plant, Rochester, New York; Chairman, NSRB, Bruce Power site, Ontario.

EUROPEAN COMMISSION/CZECH

Mr Jan Jilek 
Assistant to Director, Nuclear energy, safety and ITER, Directorate General Energy, European Commission.

FRANCE

Mr Jean-Pierre Pervès 
Mechanical and nuclear engineer; President, GR21 (think tank on energy within the French Nuclear Energy Society); Scientific Council Member, Sauvons le climat (Save the climate). Formerly: Director, CEA (French Nuclear Energy Commission); research establishments: Saclay (2000-05), Fontenay-aux-Roses (1977-2000) and Cadarache (1993-97).

GERMANY

Mr Rainer Kruppa 
Chairman of Works Council, Vattenfall Europe Nuclear Energy GmbH.

IEA/FRANCE

Mr Manuel Baritaud PhD 
Senior Energy Analyst, Gas Coal and Power Markets Division, International Energy Agency (2011-). Formerly: Economist, Corporate Strategy Department, AREVA; French Energy Regulatory Commission.

ISRAEL

Dr Ariel Levite 
Non-Resident Senior Associate, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, DC (2008-). Formerly: Principal Deputy Director General for Policy, Israeli Atomic Energy Commission (2002-07); Deputy National Security Adviser for Defense Policy and Head, Bureau of International Security and Arms Control, Israeli Ministry of Defense.

JAPAN

Mr Tatsuro Ishizuka 
Chief Executive for Nuclear Power in the UK, Hitachi Europe Ltd; Vice President, Hitachi Ltd. Formerly: CEO, Power Systems division, Hitachi Ltd.

NETHERLANDS

Dr Arie Rem Korteweg
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Reform, London; committee member, Netherlands' Advisory Council on International Affairs. Formerly: The Hague Center for Strategic Studies; Strategic Policy Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands (2012); Fulbright scholar, Johns Hopkins-SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations, Washington, DC (2006-07).

OECD/NEA

Mr William D. Magwood IV 
Director-General, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (2014-). Formerly: Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2010-14); independent strategic and policy advisor to U.S. and international clients on energy, environmental and technology policy (2005-10); Director of Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy (1998-2005); managed electric utility research and nuclear policy programmes, Edison Electric Institute, Washington, DC; scientist, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh.

POLAND

Professor Grzegorz Wrochna 
International Cooperation Manager (2015-), formerly Director, National Centre for Nuclear Research; Vice-Chair, European Atomic Energy Society; Governing Board Member, European Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP); Chairman, Nuclear Cogeneration Industrial Initiative (NC2I), a branch of SNETP. Member of: Euratom Program Committee, OECD NEA Nuclear Science Committee, OECD NEA Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations, Supervisory Board of PGE EJ1 (company building nuclear plant in Poland).

REPUBLIC OF KOREA

Professor KunMo Chung PhD
Advisor, Korea Electric Power Corporation (2009-). Formerly: President, MyongJi University (2004-07); President, Hoseo University (2000-04); Director, Energy Systems Research Institute (1997-99); 12th and 15th Minister of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea (1990-96); President of the General Conference, International Atomic Energy Agency (1989-90); Chairman and CEO, Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (1987-89); Program Director, U.S. National Science Foundation (1979-86); Professor of Nuclear Engineering, New York Polytechnic University (1975-85); President, Korea Power Engineering Company (1979-82).

SWEDEN

Mrs Agneta Rising 
Director General, World Nuclear Association (formerly the Uranium Institute), London (2013-). Formerly: Chairman, Uranium Institute (2000-01); Vice President Environment, Vattenfall AB; Director for Nuclear Business Development, Vattenfall Generation; Co-Founder and President, Women in Nuclear; President, European Nuclear Society; President, Swedish Nuclear Society; advisory positions relating to the safety and future development of nuclear power in the Swedish government, the EU Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency, including IAEA's International Nuclear
Safety Group.

UK

Professor Kevin Anderson 
Professor of Energy and Climate Change, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester; Deputy Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research; Commissioner, Welsh Government's Climate Change Commission; Director, Greenstone Carbon Management.

Professor Nick Butler 

Visiting Professor, King's College London; writer of 'Energy and Power' blog, Financial Times. Formerly: Group Vice President for Strategy and Policy, BP (2002-07); Senior Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister (2009-10); Special Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee inquiry on the economic implications of shale gas (reported in May 2014).

Mr Simon Dilks 
Head, Nuclear Innovation Policy and Coordination, Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Mr Antony Froggatt 
Senior Research Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources, Chatham House (2007-); Honorary Research Fellow, Exeter University; independent energy consultant; co-author, World Nuclear Industry Status Reports (1992-). Formerly: Greenpeace International Nuclear Policy Campaigner (1989-97).

Sir Stephen Gomersall KCMG
Deputy Chairman, Hitachi Europe Ltd. Formerly: Director, Hitachi Limited and Group Chairman for Europe (2004-13); HM Diplomatic Service (1970-2004): Ambassador to Japan (1999-2004); Director, International Security, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) (1998-99); Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, New York (1994-98); Head, Security Policy Department, FCO (1990-94).

Mr Philip Lambert 
Chief Executive, Lambert Energy Advisory Ltd, London (1999-).

Mr Paul Newman 
Chairman, ICAP Energy (2014-); Non-Executive Director, J. C. Rathbone Associates Ltd (2008-); Freeman of the City of London. Formerly: Managing Director, ICAP Energy Ltd (1990-2014); Prince's Council, The Prince's Charities (2009-12); Non-Executive Chairman, ICAP Shipping Ltd (2007-11); School Governor, City of Westminster (2001-03); Conservative Party Westminster Candidate, UK General Election (2001); Co-Founder (1993), ICAP Charity Day; MC Fellow, St Antony's College, University of Oxford (1989-90); Trustee Director, Epilepsy Research UK; Patron, Barts Hospital Appeal.
A Governor and Member of the Council of Management, and a Member of Finance and General Purposes Committee of The Ditchley Foundation.

Mr Tom Samson 
Chief Executive Officer, NuGeneration Limited (2010-). Formerly: Chief Operating Officer, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Abu Dhabi; energy and infrastructure projects in the USA, Caribbean, UAE and Europe, Marubeni Corporation; design engineer, GEC Alstom.

Sir Crispin Tickell GCMG KCVO
Formerly: Director, Policy Foresight Programme, Oxford Martin School (formerly James Martin 21st Century School), University of Oxford (2006-10); Chancellor, University of Kent (1996-2006); Chairman, Climate Institute of Washington, DC (1990-2002); Member, British Government Task Force on Urban Regeneration (1998-99); Warden, Green College Oxford (1990-97); British Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York (1987-90); Permanent Secretary, Overseas Development Administration (now DfID) (1984-87); British Ambassador to Mexico (1981-83). A Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.

Mr Simon Webb CBE, FICE 
Executive Director, The Nichols Group (2010-); Programme and Resilience Reviewer for UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (2011-); Director, Major Projects Association (2009-). Formerly: Lessons of Crises Study, Cabinet Office; Director-General, Department of Transport (2004-09); Policy Director, Ministry of Defence (2001-04). A Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.

USA

Mr Peter Bradford
Adjunct Professor teaching Nuclear Power and Public Policy, Vermont Law School. Formerly: Commissioner, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Chair, New York and Maine utility regulatory commissions; Commissioner, Texas/Vermont Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission; advisory committee member, China Sustainable Energy Policy Council.

Ms Florence Chen 
Fulbright-Cambridge Overseas Trust Postgraduate Award recipient; Masters Degree Candidate in Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge. Formerly: Intern, U.S. Senate and U.S. Department of Energy; Research Assistant, Harvard University.

Dr Thomas B. Cochran 
Consulting Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Washington, DC; Fellow, American Physical Society; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science; AEC Health Physics Fellow. Formerly: Senior Scientist, Wade Greene Chair for Nuclear Policy and Director of Nuclear Program, NRDC; member, Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee, U.S. Department of Energy; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Advisory Committee on the Cleanup of Three Mile Island; Assistant Professor of Physics and Lieutenant (U.S. Navy Reserve), U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

Ms Stephanie Cooke 
Editor, Nuclear Intelligence Weekly (NIW, part of Energy Intelligence Group, EIG), Washington DC.; author, 'In Mortal Hands - A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age' (2009); Formerly: Associate Editor then Chief Editor, NucleonicsWeek, NuclearFuel and Inside N.R.C., McGraw-Hill, New York (1980-84); Associated Press (1977-80).

Mr Mark Hibbs
Senior Associate, Nuclear Policy Programme, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (2010-); Formerly: Senior Correspondent, Asia-Pacific, Platts Nuclear (1996-2010); European Editor Platts Nuclear (1986-96); author, Carnegie Reports 'The Future of the Nuclear Suppliers Group' (2011); 'Why Fukushima Was Preventable' (with James Acton) (2012); also 'Turkey, the Nonproliferation Treaty and the NSG' (2014) and 'Iran and the Evolution of IAEA Safeguards' (2015). 

Mr Thomas Pickering 
Vice Chairman, Hills and Company, Washington, DC; Consultant, The Boeing Company. Formerly: Senior Vice-President International Relations and Member, Executive Council, The Boeing Company (2001-06); Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, US Department of State (1997-2000); President, Eurasia Foundation (1996-97); Ambassador of the U.S. to Russian Federation (1993-96), to India (1992-93); Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York (1989-92); Ambassador to Israel (1985-88), to El Salvador (1983-85), to Nigeria (1981-83), to Jordan (1974-78). A Member of the Board of Directors, The American Ditchley Foundation.

Mr David Scott 
President, IDG, Abu Dhabi; Advisor to the Chairman, Executive Affairs Authority, Abu Dhabi; Member of the Board of Directors, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and TerraPower; Advisory Board Member, General Atomics and Lloyd's Energy Registry. Formerly: Vice President, Occidental Petroleum Corporation; Director, North Africa and Arabian Peninsula Affairs, U.S. National Security Council.

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