Environment

How Many Countries are Ready for Nuclear-Powered Electricity?

As demand for low-carbon electricity rises around the world, nuclear power offers a promising solution. But how many countries are good candidates for nuclear energy development?

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A new study in the Journal Risk Analysis suggests that countries representing more than 80 percent of potential growth in low-carbon electricity demand—in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa—may lack the economic or institutional quality to deploy nuclear power to meet their energy needs. The authors suggest that if nuclear power is to safely expand its role in mitigating climate change, countries need to radically improve their ability to manage the technology.

“Efforts to enhance institutional quality in these countries must be redoubled and could well be one of the things on which the future of nuclear power as a low carbon energy solution hinges,” says co-author Michael J. Ford, a nuclear energy and public policy expert with Argonne National Laboratory who conducted much of this study while at Carnegie Mellon University.

Ford and his colleague Ahmed Abdulla, an expert in energy system design at Carleton University in Ottawa, assessed the relative nuclear power readiness of 126 countries using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to benchmark performance across nations.

As demand for low-carbon electricity rises around the world, nuclear power offers a promising solution. But how many countries are good candidates for nuclear energy development?

A new study in the Journal Risk Analysis suggests that countries representing more than 80 percent of potential growth in low-carbon electricity demand—in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa—may lack the economic or institutional quality to deploy nuclear power to meet their energy needs. The authors suggest that if nuclear power is to safely expand its role in mitigating climate change, countries need to radically improve their ability to manage the technology.

“Efforts to enhance institutional quality in these countries must be redoubled and could well be one of the things on which the future of nuclear power as a low carbon energy solution hinges,” says co-author Michael J. Ford, a nuclear energy and public policy expert with Argonne National Laboratory who conducted much of this study while at Carnegie Mellon University.

Ford and his colleague Ahmed Abdulla, an expert in energy system design at Carleton University in Ottawa, assessed the relative nuclear power readiness of 126 countries using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to benchmark performance across nations.

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