Skip navigation

Positioning nuclear power in the low-carbon electricity transition

Positioning nuclear power in the low-carbon electricity transition

Verbruggen, Aviel and Yurchenko, Yuliya (2017) Positioning nuclear power in the low-carbon electricity transition. Sustainability, 9:163. pp. 1-14. ISSN 2071-1050 (Print), 2071-1050 (Online) (doi:10.3390/su9010163)

[img]
Preview
PDF (Publisher's PDF - Open Access)
16206 YURCHENKO_Positioning_Nuclear_Power_2017.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

Addressing climate change requires de-carbonizing future energy supplies in the increasingly energy dependent world. The IEA and the IPCC (2014) mention the following as low-carbon energy supply options: ‘renewable energy, nuclear power and fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage’. Positioning nuclear power in the decarbonization transition is a problematic issue and is overridden by ill-conceived axioms. Before probing the axioms, we provide an overview of five major, postwar energy-related legacies and some insight in who is engaged in nuclear activities. We check whether low-carbon nuclear power passes the full sustainability test and whether it is compatible with the unfettered deployment of variable renewable power sourced from the sun and from wind and water currents, delivers two negative answers. We show that the best approach of the sustainable energy transition was Germany’s 2011 decision to phase-out nuclear power for a fast development and full deployment of renewable power. This is the best approach of the sustainable energy transition. We offer five practical suggestions to strengthen and accelerate carbon and nuclear free transitions. They are related to institutional issues like the role of cost-benefit analysis and the mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to the costs of nuclear risks and catastrophes, and to the historical record of nuclear technology and business.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nuclear power; Nuclear risks; Sustainability; Low-carbon transition; Electricity sector; Renewable energy; IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency; IPCC Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change;
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2018 12:33
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/16206

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics