Ensuring a role for nuclear in the response to climate change

October 20, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear NewsRichard Meserve

Richard Meserve

Nuclear power is an important tool in the response to climate change, and advanced reactors may offer advantages over existing plants in providing carbon-free generation at the scale necessary to respond to the existential challenge that climate change presents. The International Atomic Energy Agency is aggressively addressing issues related to the possible transition to advanced reactors. This letter is to urge a redoubling of effort by Member States to put in place the necessary capabilities to deal with the challenges that they present.

Many countries are responding to the threat of climate change by pledging to move toward a radical reduction of carbon emissions by 2050 or before. This will require a revolution in energy generation, and the transition must start many years before the target date. Given that nuclear power plants are long-lived investments that require many years to plan, construct, and incorporate on the grid, there is no time to waste in preparing for that changed world.

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