IPCC Recognizes Nuclear in Mitigation Alternatives to Climate Change

May 21, 2014

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released the final report of its Working Group III.

The report provides comprehensive and transparent analysis of climate change data and options for mitigating the negative effects of global warming.

Calling for decisive action, the working group concludes that a tripling or quadrupling of the share of zero- and low-carbon supply from renewables, nuclear energy and fossil energy (or bioenergy with carbon capture) by the year 2050 is necessary.

Among mitigating alternatives, the IPCC recognizes nuclear energy as a mature low-emissions technology for primary (baseload) energy supply.

Challenges and opportunities

In its report, the IPCC identifies a number of barriers to global growth for nuclear energy as a low-emissions technology:

"Barriers to an increasing use of nuclear energy include concerns about operational safety and (nuclear weapon) proliferation risks, unresolved waste management issues, as well as financial and regulatory risks (robust evidence, high agreement)."

The IPCC also acknowledges that progress in being made in developing nuclear energy technology:

"New fuel cycles and reactor technologies addressing some of these issues are being investigated, and progress in research and development has been made concerning safety and waste disposal."