IEA Publishes Technology Roadmap for Nuclear Energy

16 June 2010: The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its Technology Roadmap on nuclear energy, which highlights nuclear power as a key contributor to mitigating climate change. The Roadmap was announced by IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka during the East Asia Climate Forum, which took place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on 16 June 2010. The “Technology Roadmap – Nuclear Energy” is part of IEA's Tec­hnology Roadmaps series that will cover a total of 19 energy technologies divided between supply and demand side applications. The Roadmaps seek to enable quick momentum gains in energy technology development to confront global sustainability and energy security challenges. Each Roadmap addresses technical, legal, policy, economic and organizational aspects of advancing development of these respective technologies.

The central finding of the IEA's Technology Roadmap on nuclear energy is that nearly one-fourth of global electricity generation could be met with nuclear power by 2050, offering significant carbon dioxide savings. The Roadmap finds that realizing this goal would require tripling current nuclear capabilities. It further states that this is feasible due to the mature status of nuclear technology, with no major technological barriers impeding its expansion. The report also identifies obstacles to realizing this potential growth, namely financing new plants and training of workers. Additional obstacles include the need to gain greater public acceptance for nuclear programmes, make progress in implementing plans for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste, and maintain and strengthen where necessary the international system of safeguards to prevent proliferation of nuclear technology and materials. [IEA Press Release] [Technology Roadmap – Nuclear Energy] [Nobuo Tanaka's Presentation] [Climate Change Policy & Practice Story on the Second East Asia Climate Forum]