IAEA Expects Nuclear Power Account for 15% of GHG Emissions Reductions by 2050
story highlights

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report highlights that nuclear power is a low carbon energy source, cost efficient in emissions reductions, and has other environmental benefits as well, while also addressing concerns related to nuclear safety, waste management, and weapons proliferation.

6 December 2012: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has released a new report, titled “Climate Change and Nuclear Power 2012,” which assesses the role nuclear power can play in addressing both climate change and the global energy challenge. The report highlights that nuclear energy could account for 15% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in electricity generation by 2050.

The report notes that growing energy demand will require an increase of 75% in primary energy supply by 2050, which could lead to a 95% increase in energy related CO2 emissions. In line with this, the report highlights nuclear energy’s low carbon character, cost efficiency in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and non-climatic environmental benefits, such as reducing local and regional air pollution.

The report further addresses: nuclear energy’s cost competitiveness resulting from the increasing carbon costs of fossil-based electricity generation; lessons learned from the Fukushima-Daiichi disaster; and continued attention to reducing radiation risks, waste management, and nuclear weapons proliferation. The report closes with an analysis of future nuclear generating capacity, which the IAEA expects to grow by 87–371 GW by 2030. [Publication: Climate Change and Nuclear Power 2012]