IEA: “Building sustainable energy systems will be riskier without nuclear”

Nearly 63% of current nuclear power capacity is more than 30 years old, according to a report

Big Zero Report 2022

Building sustainable and clean energy systems will be harder, riskier and more expensive without nuclear.

This is one of the bold findings of the International Energy Agency‘s Nuclear Power and Secure Energy Transitions report which suggests nuclear power could play a significant role in helping countries transition to cleaner energy sources.

The organisation stresses that nuclear is currently the second-largest source of low emissions power after hydropower, with nuclear power stations in 32 countries.

Almost 63% of today’s nuclear generating capacity comes from plants that are more than 30 years old, according to the authors of the report.

In recent months, governments around the world announced energy plans that include an expansion of nuclear power capacity.

The UK Government has already committed to building one nuclear plant each year. 

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said: “In today’s context of the global energy crisis, skyrocketing fossil fuel prices, energy security challenges and ambitious climate commitments, I believe nuclear power has a unique opportunity to stage a comeback.

“However, a new era for nuclear power is by no means guaranteed. It will depend on governments putting in place robust policies to ensure safe and sustainable operation of nuclear plants for years to come – and to mobilise the necessary investments including in new technologies.”

Responding to the IEA’s report, Sama Bilbao y Leon, Director General of the World Nuclear Association, said: “The IEA’s report is clear; a low carbon, sustainable, affordable and secure energy future needs nuclear.”

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