Aboitiz: ‘Build trust and guarantee safe, responsible use of nuclear energy’
Sabin Aboitiz, APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Vice Chair for the Sustainable Growth Working Group and the President and CEO of the Aboitiz Group, presented the outcomes of the 2nd virtual round-table discussion (RTD) on nuclear energy held last month. “We need to build trust and guarantee the safe and responsible use of nuclear energy,” he said as one of the discussion’s key recommendations.
Addressing business leaders from the 21 APEC economies during the ABAC IV meetings prior to the APEC leaders dialogue in San Francisco, California, Aboitiz emphasized the significance of long-term investments and collaborative strategies between the public and private sectors to ensure nuclear energy is harnessed as a viable and efficient power mixed-source.
The RTD, which was co-convened by ABAC Philippines and ABAC Canada and participated by experts in the field, recognized that the shift to nuclear energy requires stable policies to attract necessary investments. “To attract financing for nuclear power plants, there is a need for sound and stable energy policies that instill confidence in investors,” said Aboitiz. The panelists also advocated for the standardization of reactor designs and the establishment of common supply chains scalable across APEC economies. This approach seeks to streamline the transition process, creating a more efficient and cost-effective nuclear power supply chain.
Collaboration with APEC economies that already have robust nuclear deployment systems was another focal point of the discussion, reported Aboitiz. By leveraging the expertise and infrastructure of these economies, the nuclear power supply chain can be strengthened and emerging nuclear economies can facilitate the development of their own expertise and infrastructure.
Highlighting the diverse energy requirements and geographical constraints of different regions, Aboitiz underscored the importance of an assorted portfolio of nuclear reactor technologies, encompassing SMRs, Micro Modular Reactors, and large-scale power plants; this diversified approach would ensure flexibility in meeting the unique needs of various regions. He also said that APEC economies and partners should collaborate on financing the construction of sustainable nuclear power plants to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
“A comprehensive review and analysis of current regulatory standards and requirements are essential to mitigate nuclear energy risks and ensure the highest safety standards. And providing incentives for cleaner energy sources, coupled with stable policies, long-term contracts, and larger commitments, is crucial for developing a robust nuclear supply chain,” Aboitiz said.
Aboitiz concluded his report by saying the future of nuclear power hinges on the public’s acceptance and understanding, and that building trust and guaranteeing safety and responsibility in the use of nuclear energy are of paramount concern.
Recognizing nuclear energy’s pivotal role in meeting global energy demands while minimizing environmental impact, ABAC Philippines, with the support of ABAC Canada, aims to contribute to a sustainable and resilient energy future for the 21 APEC economies through collaboration, sound policies, and the prioritization of safety.