Climate Change and Nuclear Energy

The Harmony programme

Our vision for the future of electricity, based on a mix of clean low-carbon generation meeting the world's energy needs for sustainable development.

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Nuclear for Climate

Nuclear for Climate is an initiative that brings together more than 160 nuclear societies & associations from all over the world, all committed to fight climate change. 

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World Nuclear Association at COPs

COP 23, held in Bonn, in 2017, is the latest of a series of climate conferences at which World Nuclear Association has participated.

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COP 21

Find out more about what happened at the COP 21 climate change conference in Paris in December 2015

Policy Responses to Climate Change

Climate change is a worldwide problem and policy responses have accordingly had an international basis, the principal focus has been on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Nuclear power can have a significant role in limiting greenhouse gas emissions while enabling access to abundant electricity.

Climate Change - The Science

The greenhouse effect occurs naturally, providing a habitable climate. Atmospheric concentrations of some of the gases that produce the greenhouse effect are increasing due to human activity and most of the world's climate scientists believe this causes global warming and resulting climate change.

Energiewende

Germany's Energiewende (energy transition) is a national program to change to a renewable-dominated energy system and phase out nuclear power. The government has estimated that the total cost of this could reach €1 trillion.

Renewable Energy and Electricity

Like nuclear power, renewable energy provides electricity without giving rise to significant carbon dioxide emissions. However, utilising electricity from solar and wind in a grid requires effective back-up generating capacity due to their intermittent nature and consequent low capacity factor.

'Clean Coal' Technologies

Burning coal without adding to global carbon dioxide levels is a major technological challenge. The greatest challenge is bringing the cost of capture and storage technology down sufficiently for 'clean coal' to compete with nuclear power.

Greenhouse gas emissions avoided

There are many different electrical generation methods, each having advantages and disadvantages with respect to operational cost, environmental impact, and other factors. Generating electricity from fossil fuels results in greenhouse gas emissions an order of magnitude higher than when using nuclear or renewable generation.

Sustainable Energy

Energy resources are available to supply mankind's expanding needs without environmental detriment. Wastes remain a major concern whether they are released to the environment or not. Until about 30 years ago, energy sustainability was thought of simply in terms of availability relative to the rate of use. Today, in the context of the ethical framework of sustainable development, including particularly concerns about global warming, other aspects are also very important.

Uranium, Electricity and Climate Change

Uranium can supply energy for the world's electricity with less greenhouse effect than virtually any other energy source.

Electricity and Energy Storage

Energy storage on a large scale has become a major focus of attention and research as intermittent renewable energy has become more prevalent.