合作推进和平利用核能（国际论坛）辛本健 《 人民日报 》（ 2009年4月20日 03 版）
Article by Xin Benjian: "(International Forum) Working Together To Promote Peaceful Utilization of Nuclear Energy"
The International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century will be held in Beijing from April 20 to 22. Representatives from more than 60 countries, International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA], Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD], and other International Organizations will attend the conference. During the conference, major issues will be discussed, including energy resources and environment, nuclear power infrastructure development, the present state and perspectives of nuclear power technology, and fuel supply and waste management. In addition, the exhibition on the "World Nuclear Energy," sponsored by the China Atomic Energy Authority [CAEA], will be held concurrently with the conference.
With global energy demand constantly increasing, there is no time to delay to develop and utilize low-pollution alternative energy. Out of consideration for energy security, stable energy prices, and environmental protection, many countries have begun to turn their attention to the field of exploitation of nuclear energy. At present, nuclear power accounted for about 14 percent of the world’s electricity supply. A total of ten nuclear reactors were newly established in the world in 2008. Furthermore, some countries said publicly that they would amend their policies that were not in favor of building nuclear power stations in response to global climate change.
Although the peaceful use of nuclear energy has broad space for development, it also faces many obstacles. People are worried about nuclear waste treatment and its long-term security, and they are concerned about the reliability of nuclear energy because of potential nuclear leaks during the operation of nuclear power plants. Drawing lessons from the nuclear accident that happened at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the former Soviet Union in 1986, a number of countries began to concentrate on technologies to elevate nuclear power plants operation safety and reduce nuclear leaks, like building secure shells for nuclear power plants. In the field of nuclear waste management, some countries have made technological breakthroughs in dealing with spent fuel. However, owing to the ever growing nuclear waste in the whole world, how to effectively resolve the issue remains a challenge.
Greenhouse gas emission reduction and active response to climate change have
been paid more and more attention. In the meantime, energy conservation and emission reduction and sustainable development have become a hot topic nowadays. Therefore, the utilization of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes can yet be regarded as a countermeasure worth attaching importance. A report, released by the United Nations, predicted that in the next 40 years, a total of 32 new nuclear power plants should be constructed every year in the whole world to prevent climate change from leading to irreparable and disastrous effects on our planet.
Although the ongoing international financial crisis has had a certain degree of negative effects on the development of nuclear power industry, it will not change the trend of the development of nuclear power. The International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Energy for the 21st Century is yet another influential meeting in the international nuclear energy circles following the first ministerial conference held in Paris in 2005. The conference will provide a useful platform for exchange of views and information to promote peaceful utilization of nuclear energy around the globe.