World Nuclear Association Blog

First Nuclear Energy Olympiad held in Korea

(WNU) Permanent link

The 2011 International Nuclear Energy Olympiad was held this week in Seoul. Ten finalist teams presented their Plans for Gaining Public Acceptance of Nuclear Power in their country. Three were from countries not yet having nuclear power. All were students, in teams of two, most ranging in age from 19 to 26.

The judging panel comprised two eminent academics from South Korea, one person from WNU, and one from WNA. (Dr SoonHeung Chang, Dr ChangSup Choi, Mr Francois Perchet and Ian Hore-Lacy).

The result was very close, but Canada took top prize narrowly from South Korea and Turkey. Following up were Malaysia, Russia and India. Each had to present a paper, then a 15-minute Powerpoint and answer questions from the judges. The presentations were closely geared to the cultural and social situations in each country, and were expected to do more than suggesting new ways to communicate facts.

The Olympiad was initiated and hosted by the Korean Nuclear Energy Promotion Agency (KONEPA) and put on under the auspices of the World Nuclear University.

See the WNN report for more information.

IAEA discusses phosphates

(Conferences, Staff) Permanent link

WNA's Ian Emsley recently participate in an IAEA meeting on prospects of extracting uranium from phosphate rocks. The well-attended meeting attested to a high level of interest in this subject. The current availability of uranium from conventional resources led to the conclusion that it could be some time before phosphates because a major source of uranium, but the potential for such resources was huge. You can find out more about this subject in our information paper Uranium from Phosphates.

New WNA Report on Lifecycle Emissions from Electricity Generation

(Publications) Permanent link

WNA has published a new report reviewing over twenty studies of greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation. The report concludes that the third party studies clearly show that greenhouse gas emissions from all forms of fossil fuel generation are an order of magnitude higher than those from nuclear energy and renewables.


Variation in GHG studies


Although there are variations between studies of the emissions associated with different forms of generation, by taking a mean value the following conclusions can be made:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions of nuclear power plants are among the lowest of any electricity generation method and on a lifecycle basis are comparable to wind, hydro-electricity and biomass.
  • Lifecycle emissions of natural gas generation are 15 times greater then nuclear. 
  • Lifecycle emissions of coal generation are 30 times greater then nuclear. 
  • There is strong agreement in the published studies on life cycle GHG intensities for each generation method.

The studies chosen used a range of assumptions, however they all took the approach of studying the full lifecycle emissions from all the generation types, not only those emissions directly associated with generation.

The WNA report also looks at differences between the conclusions of studies carried out by academia, government and industry. Although there were some variations, particularly in estimates of emissions from natural gas, overall there is a high degree of agreement between these three groups.


GHG studies from universities, industry and government


The full report can be download from the WNA website (Publications/WNA Reports) or by clicking WNA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report.

World Nuclear University Summer Institute review

(WNU) Permanent link

The 2011 World Nuclear University Summer Institute took place in July and August this year. Rather than report on the event ourselves, we've asked one of the delegates, Jay Disser from Brookhaven National Laboratory to write up their reflections.

"The seventh annual World Nuclear University Summer Institute was held this year at Christ Church at the University of Oxford in the UK. This course was a six week long intensive leadership development program held by the World Nuclear Association. I was fortunate to attend this year’s curriculum through a grant from the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI). The institute hosted 78 young professionals, representing a broad range of nuclear careers, from 34 countries. We attended lectures on nuclear topics, heard invited speakers discuss leadership, and participated in dynamic panel discussions with world leaders in the nuclear industry. Not only was this a challenging academic program, but it was also an amazing opportunity to meet and network with peers and leaders from across the industry and throughout the world.

2011 SI delegates

The first two weeks covered the nuclear industry’s role in the global setting, and fuel cycles ranging from mining to the next generation of reactors to decommissioning and transportation. The final three weeks covered non-proliferation and safety, communications, economics, law, and knowledge management. During the third week we had the opportunity to visit an operating Advanced Graphite Reactor, a fuel fabrication facility, and a research centre. During these tours and associated lectures we were able to split up into groups to discuss and come up with questions to probe further into the depth of the issues. During, the last week we split into groups to deliver 20 minute presentations on issues in nuclear power. Some of the topics covered were the public’s fear of nuclear power, reprocessing, and expanding the use of nuclear power.

The most rewarding part for me was the friendships and bonds that were formed with the other fellows throughout the Summer Institute. Opportunities to get to know the other fellows in the University were made possible through the group work and academic discussions of the course. In addition the extra-curricular activities that were set up for us, and the fact that all us were away from home and away from the normalcy of our work and professional lives allowed us to interact in a unique way. We learned a lot at the Institute about nuclear power. What enriched the program even more was that we also learned a lot about each other, our different cultures, backgrounds, and fields. I don’t know if I’ll ever again enjoy dinner with ten colleagues from ten different countries, but I know I will always remember the experiences I had at the World Nuclear University Summer Institute 2011."

Emerging Nuclear Countries and Nuclear Market in India

(Publications) Permanent link

WNA has published two new reports, available commercially on the WNA public site and available to WNA member companies on the WNA Members website.

Emerging Nuclear Energy Countries

Many countries that currently do not have any operating nuclear power reactors are seriously considering a nuclear power program. Published in September 2011, this WNA special report outlines the particular set of political, economic and security of supply considerations that each of the main aspiring nuclear nations faces. Online shop

Nuclear Market in India

India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power program that is expected to grow from today’s capacity of some 4,400 MWe to 20,000 MWe by 2020. The opportunities and challenges facing India’s civil nuclear power industry are presented in this WNA special report.Online shop


WNA's Ian Hore-Lacy on ANA 2011 panel

(Conferences) Permanent link

The Australian Nuclear Association's 2011 conference will be looking at The Future of Nuclear Science and Technology. Nuclear science and technology continue to have increasing application in industry and research and Australia's OPAL reactor is now an established source of neutrons.

WNA's Director of Communications, Ian Hore-Lacy, will be helping round up the conference's discussions in a concluding panel sessions. The conference will be held on Friday 7 October. More details are available on the ANA website.