World Nuclear Association says lots of new reactors needed to support Paris climate goals

The World Nuclear Association (WNA) said Nov. 30 that a major international expansion of atomic power is needed to support the type of carbon dioxide (CO2) reductions being discussed during international climate talks in Paris.

“To implement the goals of an ambitious COP 21 agreement governments need to develop policies that encourage investment in low carbon generation, especially nuclear energy,” WNA Director General Agneta Rising said in a news release.

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 21, is being held through Dec. 21.

“We need 1000 GWe of new nuclear capacity by 2050 to combat climate change. This will require effective regulation and markets that value low carbon emissions and reliable supplies,” Rising said.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that emissions from the electricity generation sector should fall by 80% by 2050 to prevent a greater than two degrees Celsius rise in average global temperatures. While this seems challenging, electricity generation is one sector where a low carbon path has been proven with technology available today, WNA said.

Countries such as Switzerland, Brazil, Sweden and France have achieved low carbon electricity supplies through combinations of generation from nuclear energy and renewables, the nuclear group said.

The World Nuclear Association is the industry organization that represents the global nuclear industry. Its mission is to promote a wider understanding of nuclear energy.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at