Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry at the 3SI Business Forum

As prepared for delivery

Hello everyone, and thank you for having me here today—it’s been great to come back to Bucharest.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting the University Politehnica, which now hosts a small modular nuclear reactor control room simulator. The simulator is support by FIRST– a U.S. government capacity building program which will continue to support Romania’s trailblazing leadership in European SMR deployment.

The simulator will help Romania become a regional education and training hub for new nuclear technology, ensuring that Romania and the broader region are equipped with the workforce they need to advance climate action, energy security, and energy access.
While there, I had the pleasure to announce the 3 awardees of Project Phoenix—Czechia, Poland, and Slovakia. Project Phoenix was announced at COP27. It will provide support for coal-to-SMR feasibility studies and related activities to these countries as they embark on their own coal-to-SMR transitions—a transition, I might add, that is going on in the United States, in Idaho, using the very same technology—the NuScale SMR—that Romania plans to use.

The United States is serious about the role that nuclear energy can play in decarbonizing not only our electricity by providing firm baseload power and integrating renewables to the grid, but also hard-to-abate industrial processes.
Today I’m here to announce another new program that will help advance the clean energy transition in Europe. Nuclear Expediting the Energy Transition, or NEXT, is a “One Stop Shop” program that will provide Eurasian countries interested in deploying SMRs with access to all the world-class technical, financial, and regulatory advisory services they need to embark on their own nuclear journey.

This One Stop Shop will create a virtual platform through which eligible countries can apply to access experts that will provide customized, one-on-one support that will uphold the highest standards—as defined by the IAEA—of safety, security, nonproliferation, and financial feasibility. This program is free of charge to all recipient countries.

My job as climate envoy is to leverage American resources, technology, and political capital and work together with you all to meet our collective goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It is in pursuit of that goal that the United States has placed such a strong emphasis on the promise of new nuclear power, not to the exclusion of any other form of clean power, but in support of and in addition to it.
Working together as governments and the private sector, we can accelerate this energy transition in a way that delivers affordable, secure, decarbonized, and abundant power to our citizens and economies.

Let’s build on these tools and programs to scale up and speed up the transition, by crowding in more private capital to support today’s mature clean energy technologies as well as the new solutions that will help us achieve deeper decarbonization in the coming decades.

Thank you.