IAEA director: use of nuclear power growing worldwide

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Monday that the number of nuclear power plants is increasing worldwide as a result of fast-growing economies, especially in Asia.

“A growing number of countries are considering building nuclear power plants to meet increasing energy needs of their growing economies while decreasing their greenhouse gas emissions,” Yukiya Amano told members of Singapore's Energy Market Authority. “Nuclear power can help to improve energy security, reduce the impact of volatile fossil fuel prices, mitigate the effects of climate change, and make economies more competitive.”

Amano also talked to the authority about the importance of nuclear safety, and making improvements to treating and disposing of nuclear waste, especially after events such as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan five years ago.

"Remarkable research is being done on new generations of reactors, which will be safer and generate less waste,” Amano said.  

Even smaller countries such as Singapore may soon be able to benefit from nuclear power.

"There is also great potential for smaller countries to cooperate regionally on nuclear power projects," Amano said. "I wish Singapore continued success in the coming decades in using nuclear science and technology for the health and well-being of its people.”