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The IAEA Director General and a number of speakers underlined the benefits of nuclear power in mitigating climate change.

8 November 2010: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) met on 8 November 2010 in New York, US, to take up the 54th report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (document GC(54)/4), which summarizes developments over the past year in the major areas related to safeguards, safety, and science and technology.

The report notes that, in the area of nuclear technology, both global energy demand and interest in nuclear power continued to grow in 2009. In his first speech to the UNGA, Yukiya Amano, IAEA Director General, said a constant theme of his first year in office had been to take a balanced approach to pursuing the objectives related to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Presenting the Agency’s annual report, he explained that the IAEA had signed an agreement with the Russian Federation to establish a low enriched uranium bank in Angarsk, meant to assure supply for nuclear power plants. In that context, he encouraged international lending institutions to consider “being more open” in their approach to funding such projects, stressing the need to increase the recognition of nuclear power’s benefits in mitigating the effects of climate change.

The Russian Federation stated that his country highly valued the work of the IAEA, highlighting its efforts to contribute to energy supply and combat climate change. Venezuela underscored that nuclear energy was an alternative to meet the growing demand for electricity in his country, stressing that natural and climatic factors had recently caused a serious crisis that sector. He pointed to the recent signing between his Government and the Russian Federation of an agreement to develop nuclear energy in Venezuelan territory for peaceful purposes, underlining that it aimed to minimize Venezuela’s dependence on hydropower and fossil fuels, and mitigate climate change. [UN Press Release] [IAEA Statement]

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