Association Webinars: The Role of Nuclear Power in a Carbon Neutral World



This January, as Texas in February, Japan faced a power crisis due to the much colder temperature than usual and the complex constraints of increase in LNG global supply. But the very underlying factor that caused this crisis was the slow achievement of an adequate power generation mix, including the slow restart of nuclear reactors. After assessing nuclear power's contribution to energy security, Japanese determined that she favoured a share for nuclear in the power generation mix of 20-22% by 2030. Unfortunately, however, nuclear energy in Japan currently accounts for just 6% of total power generation, while its share before the Fukushima nuclear accident was as much as 30%. Such small share comes mainly from the slow process of restart approval, injunctions issued by Japan's local courts, and time-consuming antiterrorism facilities construction. Nuclear power is definitely environmental-friendly. With many developed countries including Japan pledge to achieve a carbon-neutral society by mid-century, how nuclear energy should be employed to help meet this challenge? On the other hand, restoring public confidence in nuclear safety is the most critical challenge that the nuclear industry is now facing especially in Japan. What lessons, in the perspective of public confidence, should be learnt from countries where the benefits of nuclear energy are recognised and appreciated? Join Masakazu Toyoda and three other prominent experts to hear about how nuclear power will serve a pivotal role in the coming carbon neutral world.


Thomas-Olivier Leautier is Chief Economist and director of the Corporate University for Management of EDF and associate researcher at the Toulouse School of Economics. He has accumulated more than 20 years of experience in the electric power industry, both as an academic (MIT and Toulouse School of Economics), and a practitioner (McKinsey and Company, Alcan Inc., and EDF). His research interests include restructuring of the electric power industry, in particular long- term incentives for investments in generation and transmission, and regulation of transmission companies. He has published extensively on these topics in top peer reviewed journals. His research is summarized in his textbook: “Imperfect market and imperfect regulation: microeconomics and political economy of power markets”, published by MIT Press in March 2019. Thomas-Olivier combines 20 years of academic and practioner’s experience. Prior to joining the University of Toulouse in 2006, Thomas-Olivier was Director, Risk Measurement and Control for Alcan Inc., a leading aluminum and packaging firm, where he set up the risk management infrastructure. Previously he worked as a management consultant with McKinsey and Company, a global management consulting firm, where he was a leader in the Electric Power and Natural Gas and Risk Management practices, and gained first-hand experience with “restructured” electric power markets in Europe in North America. Specifically, he helped set up energy trading and risk management infrastructure, and advised on the creation and funding of independent power transmission companies. Thomas-Olivier holds a PhD in Economics and a Master in Transportation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, USA, a Master in Science from Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris, France, and a Bachelor in Science from Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France.


Masakazu Toyoda has been Chairman and CEO since 2010 at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) which has been ranked among Top-3 energy and resource policy think tanks for seven consecutive years, in Global Go To Think Tank Index Reports by University of Pennsylvania.In addition, as a member of Strategic Policy Committee of Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, he contributed compiling the Fifth Strategic Energy Plan which was approved by the Cabinet in July 2018.Making good use of these experiences, he lectures about Energy Study as an Adjunctive Professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo.He also serves as an international advisor to a number of institutions such as the Brunei National Energy Research Institute, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, and the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research Center.

Prior to joining the IEEJ, he served at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan where he held prominent positions namely Vice-Minister for International Affairs.


Sama Bilbao y Leon became the Director General of World Nuclear Association in October 2020. Sama has more than 20 years of experience in nuclear engineering and energy policy. Sama has a very diverse professional experience having worked in the nuclear industry (Nuclear Safety Analysis Engineer, Dominion Energy, USA), in academia (Director of Nuclear Engineering Programs and Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), USA) and in international organisations (Head of the Division of Nuclear Technology Development and Economics at the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), Head of the Technical Secretariat for the Generation IV International Forum (GIF), Head of Water Cooled Reactors Technology Development Unit, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)). Sama, who is originally from Spain, holds a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master's degree in Energy Technologies from the Polytechnic University of Madrid; a master's degree and a PhD in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics from the University of Wisconsin - Madison; and an MBA from Averett University. Sama is one of the seven founders of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN).

Diane Cameron is Head of the Nuclear Technology Development and Economics Division at the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). In her role at the NEA, she leads an expert team of economists and scientists that supports energy policy and nuclear energy policy development among NEA Member Countries by advancing evidence-based, authoritative assessments and analyses in the areas of nuclear economics, financing, and cost reduction, as well as nuclear technology, innovation, and the fuel cycle. From 2014 to 2021, Diane was Director of the Nuclear Energy Division with the Government of Canada. As Director, she headed up the division responsible for leading and co-ordinating Canadian public policy on nuclear energy, and served as Chair of Canada's Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Roadmap and Action Plan. She joined the Government of Canada in 2007 to work on energy, environment, and economic policy - including international relations and negotiations. Prior to her tenure with the Government of Canada, she worked in management consulting and engineering in the private sector specializing in global value chains and international logistics. A Canadian national, Diane holds a Master's Degree in Technology Policy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she was named Alfred Keil Fellow for Wiser Uses of Science and Technology. Diane also holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo.Diane lives in Ottawa, Canada, with her three children and corgi.


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