“Young generations want a clear, a clean world, but they don’t want a ... pastoral world without, you know, the access to technology,” said Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The head of the U.N. nuclear agency says he sees atomic power playing a key role balancing climate concerns and the world’s energy needs, the AP reports.

Many environmentalists have long been skeptical of atomic power, citing the potential for disastrous accidents and the lingering issue of what to do with nuclear waste.

But amid concerns that the world is reducing greenhouse gas emissions too slowly, Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said he is seeing fresh interest in the nuclear option.

He said he has noted particular interest among younger people who do not have the “cultural burden” that some older environmentalist have associated with nuclear power.

“Young generations want a clear, a clean world, but they don’t want a … pastoral world without, you know, the access to technology,” he told The Associated Press on Tuesday on the sidelines of the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow.

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