The Nuclear Energy Policy Initiative houses the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center‘s work on the ways in which nuclear energy can contribute to US national security and global decarbonization.

The Nuclear Energy Policy Initiative focuses on cross-cutting themes, primarily: the nexus between nuclear energy and national security; international civil nuclear cooperation and competition; the nuclear energy innovation ecosystem; and the role of nuclear energy in decarbonization and the broader energy transition.


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The Nuclear Energy Policy Initiative convenes key stakeholders to address the role that nuclear energy plays in US national security, geopolitical competition and cooperation, and the energy transition.




Apr 24, 2023

The imperative of the Versatile Test Reactor for nuclear innovation

By Jackie Toth, Khalil Ryan

In this report, "The imperative of the Versatile Test Reactor for Nuclear Innovation,” authors Jackie Toth and Khalil Ryan argue that the US will lose its competitive edge against adversaries (especially Russia) if it lacks a fully realized nuclear energy innovation ecosystem, of which the VTR is a crucial component.

Energy & Environment Nuclear Energy

Global Energy Agenda

Jan 13, 2023

The 2023 Global Energy Agenda

By Landon Derentz, Christine Suh, Ameya Hadap, Paul Kielstra (Editors)

The third edition of the Global Energy Agenda provides context for the year that has passed. It features a survey of thought leaders in the energy sector, as well as a series of essays by the leading figures in energy, to set the energy agenda for 2023.

Energy & Environment Geopolitics & Energy Security


Nov 28, 2022

Nuclear energy in a low-carbon future: Implications for the United States and Japan

By Stephen S. Greene

Nuclear energy is poised to play a significant role in the secure decarbonization of the entire energy sector, from electricity to industrial uses. Its versatility, reliability, and dispatchability enables it to underpin the emissions-free economy of the future, especially in the later stages of the energy transition. As advanced technologies enter the fray alongside existing ones, nuclear power's importance in countries like the United States and Japan, in addition to the challenges it faces and the solutions needed to tackle them, will become apparent.

Energy & Environment Japan


Oct 12, 2022

Nuclear energy and global energy security in the new tripolar world order

By Robert F. Ichord, Jr.

As the United States, Russia, and China move into a period of overt confrontation, competition in both the current and next-generation nuclear technology spaces will assume even more importance. Climate concerns only add more urgency to the race to deploy.

China Energy & Environment

Issue Brief

Sep 15, 2022

The impact of merging climate and trade policy on global demand for nuclear energy

By George David Banks

Trade tools that increase the price of carbon-intensive imports will likely lead to greater global interest in low-carbon technologies, including nuclear energy. This presents opportunities for investment in nuclear energy in developing, export-oriented countries along with potential risks for developed countries closing down nuclear generation and the international nonproliferation regime.

Nuclear Energy


Aug 31, 2022

Closing nuclear generation amounts to running in place on climate

By Stephen S. Greene

Retiring nuclear plants is the wrong climate move. It jeopardizes energy security, makes grids less reliable, and forces clean energy that could be better used displacing fossil fuel generation to make up for the shortfall.

Energy & Environment Energy Transitions


Aug 10, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act reinforces nuclear energy’s role as a climate solution

By Stephen S. Greene

The IRA provides much-needed support to the US nuclear energy sector. Its provisions will allow the continued operation of existing reactors along with the development of next-generation projects.

Energy & Environment Nuclear Energy

Global Energy Forum

Mar 28, 2022

Meet the global leaders powering the world’s energy transition

By Atlantic Council

The return of pre-pandemic energy consumption, threats of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, crises across Europe, and more have dampened hopes for a swift energy transition. But global energy leaders are no less determined.

Climate Change & Climate Action Energy & Environment


Feb 11, 2022

Building on US advanced reactor demonstration momentum: Federal power purchase agreements

By Matt Bowen

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s recent announcement regarding the Clinch River site adds momentum to the US effort to demonstrate advanced reactors. There is, however, another policy lever at the federal level that could help to support some of these projects and still has not been utilized: federal power purchase agreements.

Energy Transitions Nuclear Energy


Nov 10, 2021

Nuclear power and the energy transition in non-OECD countries

By Robert F. Ichord, Jr.

In non-OECD countries, nuclear power's role in immediate emissions reductions appears to be minimal, due to long lead times and other mitigating factors. But after 2030, rapid innovation could mean that nuclear energy will have a much more important part to play. OECD countries should partner with non-OECD countries to lay the groundwork now.

Energy & Environment Energy Transitions