INSC-UNU-AESJ Seminar Held in Tokyo on 24 April
A new INSC program is the performance of Annual Seminars for University students in countries where INSC meets. These Seminars, to be carried out between INSC and the United Nations University (UNU), would be initially devoted to issues related to the contribution of the different energy options to sustainable development, environment protection and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as sustainable energy issues in developing countries.
The first Science Seminar on “Energy and Environment” was held on 24 April 2004 14:00~16:30 at the Elizabeth Rose Hall of United Nations University in Tokyo. (Photo below) It is co-sponsored by INSC, UNU, Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ) and the Japan Society of Energy and Resources (JSER).
The following lectures were delivered:
“Energy and Environment: Issues and UNU’s Role” (UNU: Prof. Itaru Yasui)
“Energy Demand in Developing Countries”(INSC: Jorge Spitalnik)
“Role of Nuclear Energy for Environmental Protection” (AESJ/JSER: Prof. Yoji Uchiyama).
AGREEMENT FOR COOPERATION
INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR SOCIETIES COUNCIL
INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR ENERGY ACADEMY
“The International Nuclear Societies Council (INSC) is an organization of learned nuclear societies whose interests are in the development and utilization of nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes. The INSC aims to foster ongoing cooperation, communication and exchange of information among the world’s nuclear societies, undertake joint actions and ensure joint representation where necessary.” (Charter, amended November 15, 1992)
“The purpose of the INEA shall be to conducts studies, discussions, and develop recommendations for the international nuclear community on generic issues relevant to nuclear energy matters. The objective of the INEA is to foster the development and utilization of the peaceful application of nuclear energy in a sage and economic manner throughout the world. INEA, being a learned association, shall keep a scholarship character in all its activities.” (Charter, amended November 16, 1997)
- The two organizations recognize their commonality of purpose and agree to cooperate with each other to the fullest extent practicable and coordinate their efforts to achieve their common purposes.
- Such cooperation and coordination shall include, but not necessarily be limited to:
a) arranging to meet at the same location during the same week to facilitate communication between the two organizations;
b) coordinating the preparation of technical reports in order to draw upon the expertise and networks available to both organizations (ultimately considering the publication of joint reports where appropriate);
c) inviting the Chair or Designate of each organization to attend the meetings of the other as observer.
- Both organizations agree to aim towards the establishment of a common secretariat for the purpose of facilitating cooperation and coordination and to achieve better efficiency of operation. In this construct, the INSC and the INEA shall retain their separate organizations, officers, charters and bylaws.
- Both organizations agree to aim towards a relationship that will recognize INEA as a separate and independent honour society with similar goals and objectives to those of the INSC, much in the same way that national academies serve in that role for their respective scientific communities. In this construct, exceptional individuals will be nominated to INEA either through the INSC or directly by the INEA membership. INEA members will, of course, retain final authority with regard to acceptance of nominees for membership status.
Memorandum of Understanding
(As approved on 17 November 2002, Washington, D.C. USA)
Areas of Cooperation between INSC and INEA
In accordance with the ‘Joint Protocol Agreement for Cooperation between INSC (International Nuclear Societies Council) and INEA (International Nuclear Energy Academy)’ that was agreed to on 30 September 1999 in Vienna, Austria, INSC and INEA decided to adopt the following procedures to carry out some specific areas of cooperation:
It was agreed that:
- To enhance the good relationship between both Parties, INSC will encourage the members of its Nuclear Societies to join INEA as individual members in accordance with the Bylaws of INEA. Candidates will have to be recommended by the INSC Honors and Awards Committee.
- Officers of both Parties will meet at least once a year, preferably on the occasion of the meetings of both Parties to be held in the same venue and dates, to follow up the performance of the Agreement of Cooperation between INSC and INEA.
- INSC and INEA will exchange information whenever and wherever considered of mutual interest. Each Party may seek participation or comments from members of the other Party on Policy Statements and Technical Reports with due acknowledgment of relevant contributions.
- INSC and INEA will continue to identify further areas of mutual cooperation to increase the scope of this Memorandum of Understanding.
REDUCING GLOBAL CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS
A statement by the International Nuclear Societies Council
The International Nuclear Societies Council believes that the world’s capacity for generating electricity from nuclear power must be increased substantially, if we are to meet the ambitious targets for reducing global emissions of carbon dioxide.
A central tenet of the Fourth Conference of the Parties (COP4), to be held in Buenos Aires, in November 1998, is that carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels may cause changes in the earth’s climate. An objective of the Conference will be to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide on a worldwide basis.
Little progress has been made in meeting the target of the Rio Accord of I 992 to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels. The Conference celebrated at KYOTO last year concluded with the accepted compromise of several developed countries to reduce the gases emissions between 2008 and 2012. Even that a good degree of flexibility has been incorporated in the program in order to facilitate the achievement of these objectives there are expected difficulties for some countries to properly react in due time. This makes evident the need to urgently complete, quantify and implement these objectives on a worldwide basis.
The trends over the last 30 years show that, while there have been increases in emissions from the US and other OECD countries, most of the increase has occurred in the developing world, as those countries strive to develop market economies and raise their standards of living (Table 1). Over the period 1990-1998 this large increase was offset by a reduction in emissions from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and the Eastern European countries, because their economies slowed dramatically as they began to adapt to market-driven economies. With this phase ending, it is to be expected that there will be no further decreases in their emissions, and there may well be increases, as their economies start to grow again.
Today, about one quarter of the carbon dioxide emissions comes from the US, one quarter from the rest of the OECD, and half from the rest of the world. The only country with demonstrable program reducing C02 emissions is France. France, with 42010 of its energy produced by nuclear plants is a clear example of the path that the world’s nations should follow in order to reduce carbon emissions without impeding economic activity (Figures below):
It is now generally accepted that the global energy demand will increase by two to three times by the middle of the next century. Energy demand in the developing countries is growing by over 4010 Per year and already accounts for over 30010 of the global total. Its growth is likely to continue at a much higher rate than in the OECD countries.
With these patterns of growth, reductions of 20010 in emissions from the OECD countries will not achieve a global reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. For example, if the OECD countries were to reduce emissions by 20010, and if the developing countries were to maintain their economic development with emissions following the trends of recent years, then the resulting global emissions in 2015 would be 30010 higher than in 1995.
Thus energy conservation programs in the countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), while highly desirable, are by no means sufficient. Furthermore, the major gains in energy efficiency during the 1970s and 1980s have already attacked the easy targets; further gains will be more difficult and costly. To have any real impact on global carbon dioxide emissions, the principal emphasis must be on energy sources other than fossil fuels.
Renewable energy sources can contribute to the solution. The only commercial large scale renewable energy in use is hydroelectric power, which today contributes about 3010 Of the global energy supply. It could be expanded to replace about 3010 Of the additional energy demand, if all potential rivers were developed. However, this does not seem likely, given concern in many countries over the environmental impact of new hydroelectric development. In any event, the additional energy provided would have little influence on the total energy picture. No other renewable energies have yet demonstrated commercially economic and reliable energy production on a large scale, and today they have no measurable contribution to the global energy supply. Even with large government development an operating subsidies, it is doubtful that these could provide even 10% of the energy supply within two decades.
Nuclear power is the only sustainable energy option available today than can significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. After several decades of development by governments and investment by electric utilities, it currently provides about 7010 of the world’s energy supply. Nuclear power is a nearly zero-carbon energy source that is commercially proven, safe in operation, does not produce other greenhouse gases, and contains its waste products. The technology for permanent disposal of waste is already well advanced and needs firm political action to put it into operation. By using demonstrated technologies, nuclear fuel reserves in nature can be extended for centuries of operation. An important feature of nuclear power is that the cost of fuel and operation is relatively small compared with capital cost. Thus, once built, nuclear power plants produce electricity at a cost that is relatively insensitive to inflation or the fluctuations of prices on the world energy market.
However, neither the renewable energy technologies nor new nuclear power plants can compete economically with pipeline natural gas at current prices, wherever it is readily available. In both cases, the initial capital cost is too high.
Thus, radical measures will be needed, if the objective truly is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. These measures must be undertaken in the context that a moral priority for the coming century will be to help all countries achieve a reasonable standard of living. To do this, the developing countries must industrialize to generate enough wealth to support a higher standard of living, which in the long term will reduce their rate of population growth. This is the only solution that has been demonstrated to stabilize population growth.
Given all these factors, and the global thrust to market economies, the only practical strategies available to governments in their initiative to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are to impose taxes on the emissions, or to provide subsidies for energy produced from non-fossil resources, or a combination of these measures.
Thus, the International Nuclear Societies Council believes that governments should acknowledge the significant impact that nuclear power has played in limiting global carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, to minimize future emissions, governments should:
continue to strive for increased efficiency of energy use
encourage the use of renewable energies, where they can be shown to be economically beneficial and environmentally acceptable
strongly encourage the continued operation of existing nuclear power plants and facilitate the extension of their operating life
support the development and deployment of new, optimized, cost competitive nuclear power plants
consider taxes on carbon dioxide emissions, and subsidies to energy options that do not emit carbon dioxide.
TABLE 1: TRENDS IN CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS
Billion Tonnes Carbon
|Rest of World
All numbers for carbon dioxide emissions are derived from the BP