Nuclear power in a clean energy system

Nuclear power and hydropower form the backbone of low-carbon electricity generation. Together, they provide three-quarters of global low-carbon generation. Over the past 50 years, the use of nuclear power has reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by over 60 gigatonnes – nearly two years’ worth of global energy-related emissions. However, in advanced economies, nuclear power has begun to fade, with plants closing and little new investment made, just when the world requires more low-carbon electricity. This report, Nuclear Power in a Clean Energy System, focuses on the role of nuclear power in advanced economies and the factors that put nuclear power at risk of future decline. It is shown that without action, nuclear power in advanced economies could fall by two-thirds by 2040.The implications of such a “Nuclear Fade Case” for costs, emissions and electricity security using two World Energy Outlook scenarios – the New Policies Scenario and the Sustainable Development Scenario are examined.

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