The need to cut greenhouse gas emissions is now central to global energy and environmental policy making, with ambitious targets for emissions reductions being adopted or considered by most OECD countries. There is growing recognition that nuclear power has an important role to play in a lower emissions energy future.
This expert group was established in October 2009 to assess the potential role of nuclear energy in reducing CO2 emissions, particularly in the 2030 to 2050 timescale, and the challenges to be overcome if this is to be realised. It was built on existing work by the NEA, the International Energy Agency and other organisations that envisage a role for nuclear energy in a low-carbon energy future. The group also addressed the question of how much CO2 is produced in the overall nuclear cycle, and the extent to which this could rise given the assumed increases in nuclear generating capacity.