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Report August 24, 2023

The global future of nuclear energy

By Matt Bowen

Energy supply is an integral and essential part of modern society. Since nuclear energy provides low-carbon, baseload power, it could play a larger global role in addressing growing energy demands while reducing the risks of climate change and air pollution. Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has also highlighted energy security as a national imperative that nuclear power could help countries to achieve. 

Both preserving the existing fleet of reactors and building new advanced nuclear power plants could play a role in achieving deep decarbonization of electricity supply systems by mid-century. Public support, designs with greater inherent safety, licensing advanced reactors, and reasonable costs and schedules will be integral parts of this strategy. Nuclear power’s future would also benefit from national governments putting renewed emphasis on spent nuclear fuel disposition.

This report by Matt Bowen discusses a number of actions that the United States, Japan, and other civil nuclear allies could pursue so that nuclear energy can play a larger role in overcoming the challenges related to energy demand, energy security, and associated environmental and public health risks.


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Image: Electric transmission towers are seen in the background of a field of poppies near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, US, April 13, 2023. REUTERS/Aude Guerrucci