Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins and Japan’s State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Ota Fusae have announced deeper cooperation to support the deployment of small modular reactor (SMR) and other advanced reactor technologies in partner countries. The announcement, Winning an Edge Through Cooperation in Advanced Nuclear, or WECAN, was made at the International Atomic Energy Agency Nuclear Power Ministerial in Washington, DC.
The International Energy Agency considers nuclear energy necessary to achieve long-term climate goals, including net-zero emissions by 2050. WECAN reaffirms commitments by Japan and the United States to energy innovation, energy security, and global clean energy transition in a smart, cost-effective, and secure way by advancing the latest technology and commercial leadership in emerging technologies that provide firm, reliable electricity and industrial heat.
As a first step toward enhancing cooperation under WECAN, the United States and Japan announced a partnership with Ghana to support Ghana’s ambition of being a first mover in SMR deployment in Africa and establishing itself as an advanced nuclear technology hub. Support under WECAN can include prerequisite technical and regulatory assistance and feasibility studies for those countries to pursue innovative nuclear technologies that increase access to clean, reliable energy and support climate objectives.
WECAN is designed to create viable projects for the deployment of advanced nuclear technologies to support energy security goals, facilitate power-sector decarbonization, and foster decarbonization in other energy sectors, like heavy industry. This pipeline development for net-zero-enabling technologies aims to support clean energy access in countries around the world.