November 28, 2022
Nuclear energy in a low-carbon future: Implications for the United States and Japan
Nuclear power has received renewed global interest as a secure source of carbon-free energy. In the context of worsening climate change and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and resultant energy market constrictions, many countries are actively pursuing conventional and advanced nuclear development, while others are canceling or postponing scheduled shutdowns. As climate change continues to impact both energy supply and demand, nuclear energy is poised to play a major role in the reliability of the future clean energy mix.
Challenges to nuclear rollout will require solutions. Construction timelines remain extended, as do licensing processes. Social constraints also hinder development prospects. These potential stumbling blocks require steadfast coordination between allies like the United States and Japan, especially as other nuclear energy heavyweights like Russia and China avoid many of those same bottlenecks in their pursuit of domestic buildout and export.
Despite those issues, though, nuclear energy is forecasted to play a major role in the later stages of the energy transition, in which countries look to decarbonize the more difficult parts of their economies. The advent of advanced technologies and the completion of large-scale projects portends the arrival of nuclear energy’s reliability and versatility just as the global energy sector needs it.
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The Global Energy Center promotes energy security by working alongside government, industry, civil society, and public stakeholders to devise pragmatic solutions to the geopolitical, sustainability, and economic challenges of the changing global energy landscape.