IAEA Concludes Nuclear Safety Conference
The Fukushima nuclear disaster has put the nuclear energy sector on edge. Some countries, like Germany and Switzerland, have gone so far as to shut down their nuclear power plants, and civil society around the world is making its voice heard in regard to the safety of the power source. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)—the intergovernmental organization responsible for governing nuclear energy activity across borders, has concluded its five-day nuclear safety conference. The outcome reveals that the agency will seek reforms to ramp up safety measures.
The conference, held at the IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna, was headed by the agency’s President, Ambassador Antonio Guerreiro of Brazil. Speakers included IAEA Dirctor General Yukiya Amano and Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon.
The conference laid out five proposals aimed at increasing nuclear safety around the world. These five proposals were: to strengthen nuclear Safety Standards; to systematically review the safety of all nuclear power plants, including expanding the IAEA's programme of expert peer reviews; to enhance the effectiveness of national nuclear regulatory bodies and ensure their independence; to strengthen the global emergency preparedness and response system; and to expand the Agency's role in receiving and disseminating information.
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IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano stated that the conference, "achieved its main goal, which was to pave the way for an enhanced post-Fukushima global nuclear safety framework."
According to Amano, the agency’s member states have expressed widespread support for improving nuclear safety standards, and the new proposals will be drafted into an Action Plan to be submitted to the IAEA Board of Governors and General Conference in September.
Amazon's renewable energy projects surpass 200 milestone
Amazon claims it is now Europe's largest corporate buyer of renewable energy as its projects surpassed 200 globally.
Broken down, it has 136 solar rooftops on facilities and stores and 71 utility-scale wind and solar projects, nine of which were announced today covering the US, Canada, Spain, Sweden and UK. They include:
First solar project paired with energy storage Based in California’s Imperial Valley, Amazon’s first solar project paired with energy storage allows the company to align solar generation with the greatest demand. The project generates 100MW of solar energy, and includes 70MW storage.
It now has more than 2.5 GW of renewable energy capacity, enough to power more than two million European homes a year, and aims to power all its activities with renewables by 2025 and net zero by 2040.
Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge in 2019, a commit ment to reach the Paris Agreement 10 years early and be net-zero carbon by 2040. The pledge now has 53 signatories, including IBM, Unilever, Verizon, Siemens, Microsoft, and Best Buy.
A map of all of Amazon’s renewable energy projects around the world can be found here.