The Challenges and Potential of Nuclear Energy for Addressing Climate Change Metadata

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  • Main Title The Challenges and Potential of Nuclear Energy for Addressing Climate Change


  • Author: Kim, Son H.
    Creator Type: Personal
  • Author: Edmonds, James A.
    Creator Type: Personal


  • Sponsor: United States. Department of Energy.
    Contributor Type: Organization


  • Name: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (U.S.)
    Place of Publication: Richland, Washington
    Additional Info: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)


  • Creation: 2007-10-24


  • English


  • Content Description: The response to climate change and the stabilization of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations has major implications for the global energy system. Stabilization of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations requires a peak and an indefinite decline of global CO2 emissions. Nuclear energy, along with other technologies, has the potential to contribute to the growing demand for energy without emitting CO2. Nuclear energy is of particular interest because of its global prevalence and its current significant contribution, nearly 20%, to the world’s electricity supply. We have investigated the value of nuclear energy in addressing climate change, and have explored the potential challenges for the rapid and large-scale expansion of nuclear energy as a response to climate change. The scope of this study is long-term and the modeling time frame extends out a century because the nature of nuclear energy and climate change dictate that perspective. Our results indicate that the value of the nuclear technology option for addressing climate change is denominated in trillions of dollars. Several-fold increases to the value of the nuclear option can be expected if there is limited availability of competing carbon-free technologies, particularly fossil-fuel based technologies that can capture and sequester carbon. Challenges for the expanded global use of nuclear energy include the global capacity for nuclear construction, proliferation, uranium availability, and waste disposal. While the economic costs of nuclear fuel and power are important, non-economic issues transcend the issues of costs. In this regard, advanced nuclear technologies and new vision for the global use of nuclear energy are important considerations for the future of nuclear power and climate change.
  • Physical Description: PDFN


  • Keyword: Proliferation
  • Keyword: Vision
  • Keyword: Nuclear Energy
  • Keyword: Capacity
  • Keyword: Stabilization
  • Keyword: Carbon Dioxide
  • Keyword: Uranium
  • Keyword: Greenhouse Gases
  • Keyword: Economics
  • STI Subject Categories: 11 Nuclear Fuel Cycle And Fuel Materials
  • Keyword: Construction
  • Keyword: Nuclear Fuels
  • Keyword: Climates
  • Keyword: Nuclear Power
  • Keyword: Carbon
  • Keyword: Energy Systems
  • Keyword: Waste Disposal Nuclear Energy, Climate Change, Co2, Gnep
  • Keyword: Electricity
  • Keyword: Nuclear Energy, Climate Change, Co2, Gnep
  • Keyword: Dollars


  • Name: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports
    Code: OSTI


  • Name: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
    Code: UNTGD

Resource Type

  • Report


  • Text


  • Report No.: PNNL-17037
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1009324
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1009324
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc840802