Should Nuclear Energy Play a Role in a Carbon-Constrained World?
Author(s)Buongiorno, Jacopo; Parsons, John E; Petti, David A
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We summarize the findings of a new MIT study on the future of nuclear energy. The context for the study is the challenge of simultaneously expanding energy access and economic opportunity to billions of people while drastically reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. We find that while decarbonization of the electricity sectorcan be accomplished employing an assortmentof low-carbon technologies in variouscombinations, nuclear has a uniquely valuable role to play as a dispatchable low-carbon technology. Excluding a dispatchable low-carbon option like nuclear, as the German Energiewende does, significantly increases the cost and difficulty of achieving decarbonization targets. We also find that thehigh cost of new nuclear plantslimits nuclear’s role in a balanced portfolio.Reducing this cost can significantly reduce the total cost of decarbonization.Our study identified thefactors driving up cost, and we identify promising approaches to achieving cost reductions. Finally, we identify needed government policies. These include decarbonization strategies that recognize the contribution of all low-carbon energy technologies and treat them equally in the electricity market. These also include policies to accommodate and support development and demonstration of advanced reactor designs.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering; Sloan School of Management
Atw. Internationale Zeitschrift für Kernenergie
Buongiorno, J. et al. “Should Nuclear Energy Play a Role in a Carbon-Constrained World?.” Atw. Internationale Zeitschrift für Kernenergie, 63, 11-12 (2018): 573-578 © 2018 The Author(s)
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