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The Global Energy Prize annually honors outstanding achievements in energy research and technology from around the world that are helping address the world’s various and pressing energy challenges.

With Trump, the U.S. rolled way back in energy issues — a high-ranking expert

April 18, 2018

TASS / Сorrespondent Vera Scherbakova

After Donald Trump’s election as president, the U.S. has rolled back in energy issues, and the next administration will have to handle recovery from the damage caused by his policies. Such was an opinion voiced in an interview with TASS by Thomas Blees, a high-ranking U.S. expert, member of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, and President, Science Council for Global Initiatives.

“The history of progress means moving forward, but sometimes throwbacks occur,” the scientist said. “At present, the U.S. is rolling back with Donald Trump. Notwithstanding challenges, it’s a temporary thing. We only need to wait for a change of power, and we will resume moving forward. However, the new administration that will replace the current one, will basically have to handle recovery from the damage caused [by abandonment of progressive energy models]," he added.

He is convinced both the U.S. and the Russian side are interested in cooperation. “Scientists in Russia and in the U.S. are always willing to work together. Bilateral relations between our two countries are very complicated now, because of the allegations about interference in the elections, the Ukrainian crisis. I believe, — and I think I’m expressing the opinion of many scientists in the U.S. and in the Russian Federation now, — that issues of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons are those that require long work, and that they must be separated from all the others," Blees said.

“Nobody wants nuclear weapons anymore, but future belongs to nuclear energy,” he continued. “Very well-trained specialists work in that industry in Russia, and they are developing advanced technology. Our collaboration in that area is to last for decades to come, it is not limited to two to three years. And our scientific communities are interested in keeping it going,” the scientist believes.

Future of nuclear energy

He acknowledged that bias against nuclear energy still exists in many countries. “It’s not only a matter of awareness-building but also an economic issue. If nuclear energy is made economically attractive and, simultaneously, perfectly safe, economy will become the main driving force of its development, [...] and nations will be willing to buy cheap and safe energy. And my work is to demonstrate that and to achieve that," Blees explained.

He is convinced that with depletion of natural energy resources, high prices and insufficiency of energy from alternative sources, a new nuclear energy system can be the only answer. “Wind energy is a temporary thing, it cannot be relied upon. Moreover, it’s very expensive energy, which does not provide required efficiency. Nuclear energy is eternal, permanent, does not depend on external conditions,” the scientist remarked, pointing out to the potential of development of molten-salt nuclear reactors.

On Wednesday, the Polytechnic University of Turin hosted the seventh Global Energy Prize Summit organized by the namesake Russian Association on development of international research and projects in the field of energy, which is also the founder of an international award for outstanding research and development in energy.


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