Position Paper / White Paper

Belarus IAEA - 2018 - Topic 3


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The Future of Peaceful Nuclear Technology and Continued Implementation of the Treaty of Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

 

The country being represented is Belarus, formerly known as Belorussia or White Russia. Belarus is a landlocked country located in central Europe. Our primary language is  Belarusian and Russian. The country’s GDP is roughly $188 billion. Belarus is a presidential republic, governed by a president and the National Assembly, however, the current leader, Alexander Lukashenko, has managed to stay in power since the position was created in 1994. The primary religion, Eastern Orthodox, is practiced by 43% of the population, while the majority are largely non-religious. The committee we are in is the International Atomic Energy Agency which focuses on the oversight and promotion of Nuclear energy.

 

In the past, nuclear power was seen as an economic source of electricity that reduced dependence on overseas imports of fossil fuels. The first generation of nuclear plants was  justified by the need to alleviate urban smog caused by coal-fired power plants. Increased awareness of the dangers and effects of global warming and climate change has led to the realization that the use of fossil fuels must be reduced and replaced by low-emission sources of energy. At this time, the only readily available large-scale alternative to fossil fuels for the production of a continuous, reliable supply of electricity, is nuclear power. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, cleaner air is a vital need. Studies show that nuclear energy is the second largest source of low-carbon electricity production globally after hydropower.

 

Nuclear power currently provides over 10% of the world's electricity and many organizations suggest an increasing role for nuclear power in the future as an environmentally benign way of producing reliable electricity on a large scale. In its International Status and Prospects for Nuclear Power 2017, the IAEA projects global nuclear-generating capacity will increase from the current level of about 11% to 13.7% by 2050. The largest growth is expected in central and eastern Asia. The IAEA notes: “The decline compared to previous projections [since 2010] is mainly on account of early retirement or lack of interest in extending [the] life of nuclear power plants in some countries, due to the reduced competitiveness of nuclear power in the short run and national nuclear policies in several countries following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011."


 

Growth in the world's population and economy, coupled with rapid urbanization, will result in a substantial increase in energy demand over the coming years. Electricity demand has outpaced growth for many years. Currently, demand is increasing twice as fast as overall energy use and is likely to rise by more than two-thirds by 2040. The United Nations estimates that the world's population will grow from 7.6 billion in 2017 to 9.8 billion by 2050. It is important to note that an increasing shortage of fresh water calls for energy-intensive desalination plants. Clearly, the world will need significantly increased cleanly-generated electricity in the future.

 

Security of supply is a major topic on many political agendas. Countries realize how vulnerable they are to interrupted deliveries of oil and gas. The abundance of naturally occurring uranium makes nuclear power attractive from an energy security standpoint.

 

Nuclear power makes sense economically as well. Currently, various forms of government incentives encourage carbon emission reductions. A longer-term advantage of uranium over fossil fuels is the low impact that variable fuel prices have on final electricity production costs. This insensitivity to fuel price fluctuations offers a way to stabilize power prices in deregulated markets.



 

Works Cited

Burnett, William C. “Isotopic Techniques for Assessment of Groundwater Discharge to the Coastal Ocean.” 2002, doi:10.21236/ada628421.

“CIMUN XIX.” CIMUN XIX, cimun.net/iaea.php.

International Atomic Energy Agency, and IAEA. “Official Web Site of the IAEA.” IAEA, IAEA, 1 Jan. 1970, www.iaea.org/.

US Department of Commerce, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “What Is Ocean Acidification?” NOAA's National Ocean Service, 1 Aug. 2012, oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/acidification.html.