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International conference Nuclear Power for the 21st Century will take place in Paris on March 20-21
International conference Nuclear Power for the 21st Century, organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with support of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), will take place in Paris on March 20-21. The announcement was made earlier during a press conference in the French ministry of economy, finance and industry, which will host the conference. IAEA Deputy Director General Yury Sokolov announced during the press conference that 65 countries had expressed the desire to participate in the conference. Thirty-four countries will be represented at the ministerial level. According to Sokolov, the organizers of the conference pursue the following goals: "to define the potential benefits that expanding nuclear power offers to meet the increasing energy needs of the world; to review the role of nuclear power in providing energy security, sustainability and improved environmental protection; to confirm the role and recognize the positive impact of nuclear energy industry in the context of the combined use of energy resources." The IAEA top-ranking official expressed hope that the forum "will provide a platform for discussion of the future role of nuclear energy and will enable many interested states to present and discuss the future of nuclear energy." According to OECD Secretary General Donald Johnston, 30 countries-members of OECD have not reached a consensus on the role and the future of nuclear energy so far. In his opinion, the upcoming conference will help the participants to form common views on the issue and recognize the fact that nuclear energy might become the key element of the action plan aimed at fighting the effects of global warming and reducing the amount of carbon monoxide emissions. In his turn, French Minister Delegate for Industry Patrick Devedjian stated that the participants of the conference did not have "a mandate to adopt official decisions." "We are gathering for a discussion, rather than to make decisions," the French minister emphasized. At the same time, he expressed hope that the upcoming discussion will allow the participants to find answers to questions related to safe storage and recycling of nuclear waste, and also to security of nuclear facilities. The minister underlined that France intends to establish clear and well-defined rules aimed at reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation. "In our opinion, only those countries that agree to open their nuclear sectors to IAEA monitoring and strictly follow their international obligations in the sphere of nuclear non-proliferation should be allowed to use nuclear technologies and develop their nuclear energy industries," Devedjian stated
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