As a low-carbon, reliable, and affordable energy source, nuclear is part of the solution to fight climate change. To convey that message and emphasize the role that young nuclear professionals play, our colleague, Gert Pille, took an active part in COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in the framework of Nuclear for Climate, a grassroots initiative gathering over 150 associations, professionals, and scientists worldwide.
What is your motivation to participate in COP 27?
I've already seen the effects of pollution and energy poverty in this world. And it's not something I will look away from. I want to take part constructively in meetings and side events, and roundtable discussions at COP 27 in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt. With my educational background and professional experience, I can add value to these meetings and be the missing voice of young professionals in nuclear.
Gert moderated a panel discussion at the booth of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at COP 27 featuring the IAEA Director General, Rafael Mariano Grossi, and representatives from the young nuclear generation on how young nuclear professionals can contribute to the fight against climate change.
As a nuclear engineer at Tractebel, how do you contribute to climate change mitigation?
Nuclear energy is one of the largest sources of clean electricity that we have. So as engineers, we need to design, build, operate and maintain these nuclear facilities, so that they can fulfill their role to produce reliable and clean electricity. And we also need to engineer solutions for the other challenges that we face under the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as the desalination of ocean water, access to nuclear medical isotopes, and the production of hydrogen and other synthetic fuels. Today, we have a huge need for highly skilled personnel. These ranges from technicians to fabricators, even engineers, and physicists.
Gert discussed with high-level participants from governments, international organizations, nuclear associations, and companies:
What is your message to future generations?
My message to the younger generation is to pursue technical or scientific education and to give a career in the nuclear energy sector a chance. You just need to look at the data of the UN, IPCC, and the UN FCCC, to see the real power of nuclear energy. It’s impressive what it can do to decarbonize the electricity grids and improve the quality of life of all humans on the planet. And I think if you give a career in nuclear energy a chance, you will have a fulfilling life where you will make a significant impact on the fight against climate change.