Energy & Environment Japan Nuclear Energy United States and Canada
Report November 28, 2022

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

By Stephen S. Greene

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.

View the full issue brief below

Watch the launch


Meet the author

stay connected

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive our weekly DirectCurrent newsletter to stay up to date on the program’s work.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Global Energy Center develops and promotes pragmatic and nonpartisan policy solutions designed to advance global energy security, enhance economic opportunity, and accelerate pathways to net-zero emissions.

Image: Electrical power pylons of high-tension electricity power lines are seen in Saint-Folquin, near Gravelines, France, October 4, 2022. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol - RC2GUW9YAEY7