The 2015 edition of the Technology Roadmap: Nuclear Energy jointly prepared by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), has just been published. The nuclear energy landscape has changed since the previous edition of the roadmap in 2010, with a number of events affecting its development: the Fukushima Daiichi accident, which heightened public concern over the safety of nuclear energy in many countries, and the subsequent safety reviews and development of new safety requirements to ensure even higher levels of safety for existing and future nuclear power plants; the shift towards Generation III reactors for nuclear new build; and the economic and financial crises that have both lowered energy demand and made the financing of capital-intensive infrastructure projects more challenging, especially in liberalised electricity markets.
Each country must decide what energy mix is optimal for its national circumstances. However, the fundamental advantages provided by nuclear energy in terms of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, competitiveness of electricity production and security of supply should be taken into account. Nuclear energy can play a key role in decarbonising our electricity systems by providing a stable source of low-carbon baseload electricity. By identifying major barriers and recommendations on how they can be overcome, this roadmap aims to assist governments interested in introducing, maintaining or developing nuclear energy technologies to do so in a safe, publicly accepted and affordable manner.
In order for nuclear to reach its deployment targets under the 2 degrees Celsius scenario, annual connection rates should increase from 5 GW in 2014 to well over 20 GW during the coming decade. Such rapid growth will only be possible if the following actions are implemented over the next ten years. Read the seven key actions.
Purpose of the Roadmap update
Rationale for nuclear energy and Roadmap scope
Roadmap process, content and structure
Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident: 11 March 2011
Nuclear power generation and new build at the end of 2014
Construction of Generation III reactors
Long-term operation of existing reactors
Revised targets for nuclear compared with 2010 Roadmap
Emissions reductions from nuclear
Global investment in nuclear to 2050
Regional costs assumptions for nuclear
Licensing and regulation
Financing nuclear development
Training and capacity development
Codes and standards, supply chain development and localisation issues
Communication and public acceptance
Last reviewed: 23 November 2015