Nuclear power is vital for a secure energy supply

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New nuclear construction improves system-level energy security, increases the resilience of the power grid and helps reduce reliance on imported energy, according to a study by the New Nuclear Watch Institute (NNWI).

The report makes a clear case for building and maintaining a diverse, low-carbon production mix during the transition to a carbon-free energy system, and thus argues that reducing nuclear capacity – that whether through intentional phase-out or failure to engage in new construction – poses significant risks to energy security.

The research, titled Energy security in the age of net zero ambitions and the systemic value of nuclear energy, emphasizes the emphasis on security of electricity supply as the share of electricity generation attributable to weather-dependent renewable energy sources increases.

According to the report, nuclear power is one of the few large-scale, commercially mature sources of clean electricity capable of delivering electricity on a sustained basis throughout the year and therefore capable of sustaining electricity. variable renewable energies without increasing risk exposure. price volatility and insecurity of supply of an imported “transitional fuel”, namely natural gas.

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Commenting on the study’s findings, Tim Yeo, President of NNWI, said: “The urgent need to accelerate the shift to low-carbon power generation is increasingly shaping international energy policy. Our report shows that meeting this need by developing intermittent renewable energies without also guaranteeing a significant and continuous contribution from nuclear energy will threaten the security of energy supplies.

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The report also finds that, contrary to some media and political discourse, the risks to energy security resulting from the involvement of non-OECD nuclear suppliers at every stage of the plant’s life cycle, from the construction phase until dismantling, are low. , manageable and can be mitigated by prudent regulatory measures.

Since the current state of the nuclear export market implies that increased new build activity is likely to involve state-backed non-OECD nuclear suppliers from Russia and China, there has been speculation about geopolitical threats to the energy security of potential host countries.

The study finds that the alleged dependency concerns associated with the host-supplier relationship in the nuclear energy industry are historically and virtually unfounded.

“Climate change is now an existential threat to the human species. To meet this challenge, governments around the world must immediately put aside geopolitical considerations and unite to deploy all available low-carbon technologies, ”added Tim Yeo.

“Nuclear power has proven to be the most reliable way to generate clean electricity on a large scale. The nature of the nuclear industry means that the interests of equipment suppliers, plant developers and customers are closely intertwined. The energy security risks associated with the use of imported nuclear technology can in fact be more easily managed, and therefore potentially lower, than relying on imported fossil fuels.

The full version of the report is available at NNWI

This article was originally published on the website of our sister publication ESI Africa.


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