IAEA report says nuclear power could contribute to meet climate change targets

18 September 2018 (Last Updated September 18th, 2018 11:39)

A new report released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has highlighted the potential role that nuclear power could play to help meet the climate change targets.

IAEA report says nuclear power could contribute to meet climate change targets
The Hanul Nuclear Power Plant, Republic of Korea. Credit: KHNP.

A new report released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has highlighted the potential role that nuclear power could play to help meet the climate change targets.

Titled ‘Climate Change and Nuclear Power 2018’, the report is an updated version of the one that was released in 2016 and includes the latest scientific information and analyses on the link between energy production and climate change.

"If nuclear power deployment doesn’t expand in line with this scenario, the other technologies may not fill the gap—and we may not meet our climate targets."

The report said that nuclear power has the potential to deliver large quantities of electricity needed for global economic development while contributing in mitigating climate change. Global electricity demand is expected to almost double by 2050.

Currently, about 70% of the world’s electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels. However, the agency noted that it is necessary to generate 80% of electricity from low carbon sources to meet climate goals by 2050.

According to the agency, nuclear power generates almost 11% of the world’s electricity, which is equivalent to one-third of the globe’s low-carbon electricity.

IAEA deputy director general Mikhail Chudakov said: “This scenario requires a significant scaling up of all clean, low-carbon technologies such as nuclear power, with electricity demand expected to rise sharply in the coming years as countries need more power for development.

“If nuclear power deployment doesn’t expand in line with this scenario, the other technologies may not fill the gap—and we may not meet our climate targets.”

The report also focused on whether waste disposal repositories development, reactors with alternative cost models, passive and inherent safety systems, and units that generate less waste and reactors can boost nuclear power deployment.