Prescription for pandemic recovery: Invest in nuclear

July 10, 2020, 7:36AMNuclear News

The World Nuclear Association (WNA) released a white paper yesterday, Building a stronger tomorrow: Nuclear power in the post-pandemic world, outlining why nuclear projects should be part of the world’s economic and employment recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the paper, recovery plans that include investment in nuclear energy could not only boost economic growth and jobs, but also fulfill climate change commitments and build a clean and resilient energy system.

Specifics: The WNA advises policymakers to:

■ Consider nuclear and its socio-economic, environmental, and public health benefits in any energy transition plan and enact policies to ensure the realization of the many benefits of nuclear energy.

■ Accelerate the implementation of the 108 reactors already planned by governments and ensure the long-time operation of the 290 reactors that have been operational for 30-plus years.

■ Unlock finance by providing frameworks that will drive investment and provide better value for consumers.

What they’re saying: Speaking at the paper’s launch, WNA Director General Agneta Rising said, “There are ‘shovel-ready’ nuclear projects which, with the right support, could provide immediate employment and create long-term high-value jobs. Further projects ensuring the long-term operation of existing nuclear reactors would benefit the economy and the environment. Securing continued generation from these reactors is the most cost-effective way to generate decarbonized electricity. These projects can all play a crucial role in the post-pandemic recovery, and each and every one will create considerable societal benefits, but to ensure these are realized, we must put mechanisms in place to value nuclear’s unique attributes.”

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