Earth Institute Research Projects

The Future of Nuclear Energy - A Three-Part Series

Lead PI: Richard Nephew Andrew C. Kadk, Timothy A. Frazier, Nicola De Blasio

Unit Affiliation: Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP)

March 2017 - Ongoing
Global ; Asia ; Europe ; Europe ; United States ; China ; India
Project Type: Research Outreach

DESCRIPTION: Perhaps no source of energy sparks as much debate as nuclear power. Heralded in the 1950s and 1960s as the way of the future—only to face growing concern in the 1970s and 1980s around ties to nuclear weapons proliferation, safety, and waste—interest in nuclear power plants has chilled. In a three-part series from the Center on Global Energy Policy, three sets of authors examine the future of nuclear energy in the United States and throughout the world. A brief outline of each paper and a link to full text are found below. This series was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

OUTCOMES: The authors offer three recommendations to face the challenges presented to nuclear power today, with an approach to the geopolitical issues around nuclear energy includes the following elements:

-Demystify the science around nuclear power and to ensure local communities and the public have an appropriate appreciation for the role nuclear energy can play.

-Renew the global partnership to manage the risks of proliferation that combines political and technical factors, including cooperation among governments to reduce the risk of proliferation and to enhance export controls.

-Improve government support for nuclear research and development through investment vehicles and private public partnerships as well as incentivizing the safe, economic, and reliable operation of the current fleet of nuclear reactors.