FIIA Spotlight on Energy Transition #2: Nuclear Power and the Energy Transition

Webinar · 09.11.2023 15:00 - 16:00

Thursday 9 November, 2023 at 15:00-16:00 EET / 14:00-15:00 CET

Views on nuclear power as an energy source are split in the international arena. According to some leaders and experts, nuclear power can play an important role in the transition to a low carbon economy. According to others, nuclear technology is too expensive and involves unresolved issues, such as the processing and storage of spent fuel and severe construction delays for new plants. Meanwhile, political instability and geopolitical rivalry have cast doubts over the security of uranium supplies from key producers, from Niger to Kazakhstan. While the Western nuclear industry has struggled to remain competitive, Russia’s Rosatom has acquired a large portfolio of international orders, and China accounts for over one third of reactors currently under construction worldwide.

What are the prospects for nuclear power within the transition to a low carbon economy? How has the geopolitics of civil nuclear power changed in recent years? Why are some countries investing in nuclear power, while others are phasing out their plants? What are the political and security of supply risks in the nuclear sector?

This webinar is part of a series of ‘Spotlight’ events, looking at the fundamental transformations taking place in energy systems, and is part of the FIIA project  The Global Politics of the Energy Transition .



Introduction and Moderation

Marco Siddi

Leading Researcher, FIIA

Marco Siddi is Leading Researcher at FIIA, where he coordinates the project The Global Politics of the Energy Transition. His work focuses primarily on energy and climate politics, the politics of memory and identity, European politics and EU-Russia relations. Siddi is Adjunct Professor in World Politics at the University of Helsinki and in International Relations at Tampere University. He is also a Board Member of the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), a Steering Committee Member of the ECPR Research Network on Energy Politics, Policy, and Governance, and a member of the European Leadership Network/Younger Generation Leaders Network on Euro-Atlantic Security. He received his PhD at the Universities of Edinburgh and Cologne, in the framework of the Marie Curie Training Network ‘Exact’ concerning the external action of the European Union.


Marta M. Gospodarczyk

Program Manager of Power Reactor Information System, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Marta M. Gospodarczyk has over 20 years of experience supporting projects related to nuclear energy at the International Atomic Energy Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). She has worked with projects related to uranium mining, nuclear power infrastructure development, nuclear power operating experience, electricity markets, nuclear power capacity optimization and projections, nuclear power performance indicators, and spent fuel storage. She has been managing the Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) and the Country Nuclear Power Profiles (CNPP) in the IAEA’s Nuclear Power Engineering Section since 2018. She works directly with Member States to compile data on all nuclear power reactors’ status and operating experience. She is responsible for nuclear power performance indicators analysis program and development of nuclear power statistical reports. While at the IAEA, she has been responsible for few IAEA annual publications including one of the most popular IAEA publications, Nuclear Reactors in the World.

Jessica Jewell

Associate Professor, Chalmers University of Technology & University of Bergen

Jessica Jewell is an Associate Professor in Energy Transitions at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers University and at the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation at the University of Bergen. Her research focuses on the feasibility of climate action and quantifying the dynamics and mechanisms of energy transitions using a variety of disciplinary approaches and methods. She is a recipient of a European Research Council's Starting Grant and a leader of work packages in collaborative research projects supported by European and Swedish funding agencies. Previously, she worked at IIASA in Vienna and the IEA in Paris.

Jochen Markard

Senior Researcher, ZHAW School of Engineering and ETH Zurich

Jochen Markard works as a Senior researcher at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and he is also a Lecturer (Habilitation) at ETH Zurich. Jochen holds degrees in electrical engineering and energy economics, and a PhD in innovation studies. His research focuses on sustainability transitions and the interplay of technological change, actor strategies, policy and institutional change. Current research topics: Politics of transitions, advocacy /discourse coalitions, multi-system interaction, transition policy, unsustainabilities.