IAEA releases report on nuclear role in climate change mitigation

IAEA releases report on nuclear role in climate change mitigation.
IAEA releases report on nuclear role in climate change mitigation.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a comprehensive report that reviews the potential of nuclear power in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions on Tuesday.

The report, titled “Climate Change and Nuclear Power 2015,” features an analysis of the life cycle comparisons relating to emissions between different nuclear technologies including pressurized water reactors (PWR), boiling water reactors (BWR) and newer forms like gas-cooled and fast reactors. According to the report, newer technologies produce fewer emissions because of improved thermal efficiencies and lowered demands on fuel cycles, respectively.

“Nuclear power is one of the major low-carbon energy sources currently available, and many countries believe that it can help them to address the twin challenges of ensuring reliable energy supplies while curbing emissions,” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said. “As governments around the world prepare to negotiate a climate agreement in Paris, it is important that the contributions that nuclear power can make to combating climate change are recognized.”

This report comes six week before an international conference that will take place in Paris and will aim to reach an international agreement to counter global warming.

The report also discusses that emission comparison between fossil carbon capture and storage methods as opposed to nuclear energy. The IAEA states that costs associated with the former are unclear and repositories continue to present a challenge. They also state that life cycle emissions still favors nuclear power in this area.

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International Atomic Energy Agency

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