Nuclear power fuels global efforts against climate change

Courtesy of the IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Tuesday that climate-change mitigation is one of the driving forces for nuclear power being considered in many countries' national energy portfolios.

The Chinese government has pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 and currently accounts for approximately one third of global nuclear reactor construction projects. China's ambassador to the IAEA, Jingye Cheng, said the National Energy Development Strategy Action Plan has set a 15 percent goal for non-fossil-fuel-based energy production by 2020.

“Climate change is a common challenge faced by all nations, and it is important that the international community joins together to combat this challenge,” Cheng said. “China will do its part, and nuclear energy is part of the solution.”

China currently has 23 nuclear power reactors in operation, 27 currently under construction and others set to launch operations. The country aims to have a nuclear generation capacity of 58 gigawatts by 2020.

A United Kingdom government report said the U.K.'s nuclear energy stations will be crucial in working toward a goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

“Concerns about climate change are one of the drivers for countries to introduce or to expand their use of nuclear power,” David Shropshire, head of the IAEA’s Planning and Economic Studies Section, said.

The IAEA said 56 gigatons of carbon dioxide have been kept out of the atmosphere because of nuclear power since 1971.

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International Atomic Energy Agency

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