ANS urges COP26 to recognize nuclear energy’s climate role

November 2, 2021, 12:00PMANS News

On behalf of over 10,000 nuclear engineers, scientists, and technologists, the American Nuclear Society urges COP 26 delegates to insist that any agreement arising from COP26 include a strong role for nuclear technology in achieving carbon reduction targets.

Deep decarbonization and electrification of the global economy will require the increased availability of firm, “dispatchable” zero-carbon energy technologies. Nuclear energy is the only energy source with a proven track record of producing firm, zero-carbon energy at the scale needed to meet global goals. Indeed, it’s increasingly clear that achieving net-zero worldwide carbon emissions is simply not feasible without a significant expansion of carbon-free nuclear energy worldwide.

Specifically, we urge the delegates to assume that a significant commercial deployment of new reactor designs and advanced nuclear fuel will occur in the 2030 timeframe and to acknowledge that such a scale-up will require a significant investment in research and development funding for advanced nuclear technologies.

Deep decarbonization requires action in all sectors of the world economy, not just electricity generation. As such, we urge delegates to recognize the inherent advantages of employing nuclear technology for industrial process heat, hydrogen production, district heating, and desalination.

To achieve decarbonization as rapidly and efficiently as possible, governments and policymakers must implement technology-neutral, performance-based climate and energy policies that treat all carbon-free energy sources fairly and equally. Nuclear must be treated on a level playing field with other clean energy technologies. Delegates should not accept anything short of fair and equal treatment for nuclear energy vis-a-vis other zero-carbon sources, as doing so would be fundamentally incompatible with global progress on climate, economic prosperity and energy security.

As a recognized civil society organization with UN observer status, ANS will be on the ground in Glasgow during COP26 where we are sponsoring ten delegates from the Young Generation Network. As representatives of ANS, the pro-nuclear delegates will be attending events in the exclusive bluezone during the next two weeks. ANS’s social media channels will be resharing photos, videos, and observations from our COP26 delegates who hail from Germany, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

ANS is also taking our message directly to COP26 attendees by participating in Nuclear For Climate’s booth where ANS’s logo and images will be on display. Our message at COP26 is clear: Carbon-free nuclear energy must be a part of our climate solution and the time to act is now. Six years on from the Paris Agreement, our world leaders need to get serious about climate change and that starts by preserving and expanding nuclear energy.


Craig H. Piercy, Executive Director and CEO of the American Nuclear Society

Steven P. Nesbit, President of the American Nuclear Society

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