The Potential of Nuclear Energy in a Climate-Conscious World panel talk at the Milken Institute © Milken Institute. Panellists (left to right): Roksana Ciurysek, Chairwoman of Impact One; Isabelle Boemke, “Nuclear Influencer”, model and philanthropist; Stefano Buono, physicist and CEO of Advanced Accelerator Applications; Oliver Stone, director, producer and screenwriter and J. Clay Sell, former United States Deputy Secretary of Energy
In a groundbreaking move, 198 signatory countries to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) officially advocated for the accelerated deployment of the low-emission technologies, including nuclear energy. This historic shift, the first in its kind since the inception of the annual climate summits in 1995, aims to facilitate deep and rapid decarbonisation, particularly in challenging sectors and industries. Furthermore, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Statement from COP28 on Nuclear Power garnered support from numerous countries, emphasising the need for active recognition and backing of nuclear energy. The statement underlined the resilient and robust nature of nuclear power, and highlighted its potential to contribute significantly to achieving net-zero carbon emissions while maintaining the highest standards of safety and security.
It has been 12 years since the Fukoshima disaster set nuclear power’s image and prospects back worldwide. In that time, however, the energy sector’s landscape has changed dramatically, for three main reasons:
The indisputable need to meet increasingly ambitious climate goals; significant advancements in nuclear technology; and conflicts around the world that have had a profound impact on the supply of fossil fuels.
These key themes were unpacked during a recent roundtable at the Business and Philanthropy Forum entitled “The Nuclear Option” at COP28. Moderated by Roksana Ciurysek Chairwoman of Impact One, the roundtable included contributors
  • Elisabeth Rizzotti, COO of Nucleo
  • Irina Gorbounova, Head of XCarb Innovation Fund at ArcelorMittal
  • Armond Cohen, Founder and Executive Director of the Clean Air Task Force (CATF)
  • Zachary Bogue, Co-Founder of DCVC
‘The Nuclear Option’ Roundtable at the BPCF © BPCF. Panellists (left to right): Armond Cohen, Founder and Executive Director of the Clean Air Task Force (CATF); David Devanney, CEO of ThorCon International; Roksana Ciurysek, Chairwoman of Impact One; Irina Gorbounova, Head of XCarb Innovation Fund at ArcelorMittal; Zachary Bogue, Co-Founder of DCVC.1; and Elisabeth Rizzotti, COO of Nucleo.
Irina Gorbounova, Head Of XCarb Innovation Fund
The discussion explored the global challenges of energy poverty, climate change and the fact based education that will be required to combat the deep rooted fear people hold due to past disasters. As summarised by Irina Gorbounova after the roundtable, “nuclear energy is not just an option, it will play an essential role in the global decarbonisation efforts.
It was inspiring to exchange with visionary leaders in the nuclear space and see the united effort in advancing safe, sustainable nuclear solutions as we collectively aim for a net zero future.”
Rhetoric surrounding the reintroduction of nuclear power has been evolving rapidly and positively among scientists, thought leaders and, more recently, governments. Director Oliver Stone’s documentary film “Nuclear Now” makes the case for nuclear power as a clean, safe, reliable alternative to fossil fuels. The film covers the history of nuclear power, from key scientific discoveries to world powers harnessing it for mass destruction. It makes a point of separating nuclear power from nuclear bombs, a pernicious association that has followed nuclear science since its inception.
Roksana, who is the executive producer of “Nuclear Now”, also moderated a panel at the Milken Institute’s Middle East and Africa Summit. Entitled “The Potential of Nuclear Energy in a Climate-Conscious World”, the panel featured
  • Isabelle Boemke, a self described “Nuclear Influencer” and philanthropist
  • Stefano Buono, physicist and CEO of Advanced Accelerator Applications
  • J. Clay Sell, former United States Deputy Secretary of Energy
  • Oliver Stone, director, producer and screenwriter
The discussion highlighted the need to create more electricity while simultaneously reducing carbon dioxide emissions to halt the climate crisis, and the innovative strides that have been made in nuclear technology in recent years in terms of safety, efficiency and economic viability.
Roksana Ciurysek Chairwoman of Impact One
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, French President Emmanuel Macron, and IAEA Director General Mr. Grossi announced at COP28 that the first ever Nuclear Energy Summit will be held in Brussels in March 2024, marking a crucial step forward. The Summit, anticipated to host around industry leaders, experts and civil society representatives from 30 countries, aims to build on global momentum behind nuclear power

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