Nuclear energy is not the opposite of the green and renewable energy and there is space for both in the global energy mix, a senior IAEA official said here on Tuesday.
"We should not think of nuclear energy as opposing the green energy. In fact, it (nuclear energy) should be made a part of the green energy balance," International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Deputy Director General Mikhail Chudakov, who also heads its Department of Nuclear Energy, said at the opening session of the "AtomEco-2017" conference.
Chudakov said there was also need to increase public trust in nuclear technology so as to increase demand for the same. He said it was impossible to meet the emission targets committed under the Paris Climate Agreement without nuclear energy.
"We do not have sufficient power generation units to meet the requirements of the climate agreements that we have committed to. So we need to advocate the positives of nuclear energy to build trust in the same," he said at the two-day conference organised by Rosatom, the Russian state atomic energy corporation.
Chudakov said that generation of one gigawatt of nuclear energy only needed a space of three square kilometre as against 900 square kilometre in case of wind energy. "That's the size of a city like Moscow."
He added there was also a need to show to the public that nuclear power plants are safe and efficient.
Nuclear technology has evolved a lot and has all kinds of security measures in place now and it is almost impossible for nuclear accidents to happen, he said.
Kirill Komarov, Rosatom's first deputy Director-General, added that when people talk about green energy, they forget that "nuclear energy is also green".
He added while coal may be more efficient in economic terms if one ignores its environmental cost, but choice of the energy generation sources was no more an economic issue but also a political and an ecological issue.
Talking about building trust among people in the nuclear technology, Komarov said it was ironical that there was a higher level of acceptance for such technology among people who were living close to the nuclear energy site despite the fact they are supposed to be the first victims in case of an accident.
"We can't achieve acceptance unless we are open with the public and communicate our concerns to them," he added.