Leaders of over 30 Countries Meet in a Brussels Summit to Promote Nuclear Energy

4 months ago
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BRUSSELS (AP) — In the shadows of a massive monument glorifying nuclear energy, over 30 leaders and delegations from around the world are backing the idea to use the controversial source to help achieve the goal of a climate-neutral globe while giving more countries an added sense of economic and security independence.

Such a summit would have been unthinkable a dozen years ago in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, but a warming planet creating a need to phase out fossil fuels and war in Ukraine laying bare a dependence on Russian energy have turned the tables over the past half decade.

“We have to do everything possible to to facilitate the contribution of nuclear energy,” said Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. “It is clear: Nuclear is there. It has an important role to play,” he said.

The one-day meeting is held next to the 1958 Atomium, the 102-meter (335-foot) -tall construction of the nine iron atoms, which sought to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy in the wake of the nuclear bomb explosions at the end of World War II and their use as a geopolitical deterrent ever since.

Nuclear energy, said European Union Council President Charles Michel, “can help us to tackle the climate crisis on the one hand, and it can help us to build our strategic autonomy.”

The devastating impact of a nuclear accident, like the 1986 one in Chernobyl, Ukraine, was barely a talking point at the meeting. Outside environmental groups sought to highlight the dangers of the technology and convince leaders that renewable energy sources like wind and sun were much more practical and worthwhile.

Building nuclear plants takes many years and projects are often marred by cost and deadline overruns.

Thursday’s meeting was to be a strategic planning session without any practical outcome expected.…Read more by

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