Achieving global carbon neutrality by 2050—a pledge made by well over 100 countries so far, including Canada, the European Union, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—will require investment in new nuclear capacity and the retention of existing nuclear generation, states an open letter released last Friday by the leaders of six prominent nuclear industry organizations.
The letter was signed by John Gorman, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Nuclear Association; Yves Desbazeille, director general of FORATOM; Shiro Arai, president of the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum; Maria Korsnick, president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute; John Greatrex, chief executive of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Industry Association; and Sama Bilbao y León, director general of the World Nuclear Association.
Recommendations: The letter urges global policymakers to take immediate steps to prevent the premature closure of existing nuclear generation capacity and to accelerate the scale and time frame for investment in new nuclear capacity, and it includes the following recommendations:
- Nuclear energy should be clearly recognized in national and international policies and conventions as clean, low carbon, and sustainable.
- National and international policy frameworks should ensure equal access to climate financing for all low-carbon energy sources, including nuclear, and clearly signal this to the private finance and investment community.
- Countries should maximize the generating potential of their existing nuclear reactors and build replacements for retiring reactors.
- Countries with existing civil nuclear energy expertise should support countries that wish to deploy nuclear energy responsibly, as well as expand their own nuclear capacity.
- Countries should include nuclear energy alongside other low-carbon energy technologies in their nationally determined contributions and in their low-emission development strategies.