International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Yukiya Amano said that nuclear power will make a significant and growing contribution to sustainable development in the coming decades.

Amano made the comments at the International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century, which was held between 27 June to 29 June in St. Petersburg.

IAEA organized the conference in cooperation with the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and hosted by the Government of the Russian Federation through the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom.

About 500 participants, including 38 ministers, representing 89 countries and 7 international organizations attended the conference.

Participants in the conference agreed that each country had a responsibility to establish an appropriate and adequate legal framework, and to fulfil its obligations in nuclear security and non-proliferation safeguards, as well as nuclear safety.

The conference concluded that nuclear power remains an important option for many countries to improve energy security, provide energy for development and fight climate change.

Amano noted that after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan in March 2011, effective steps have been taken to make nuclear power plants safer everywhere.

"The IAEA is committed to ensuring that the expansion of nuclear power takes place in a way which results in maximum safety, reliability and efficiency, and guards against the proliferation of nuclear weapons," Amano added.