The International Energy Agency (IEA) stated on Thursday that global nuclear power capacity needs to treble by mid-century to meet net-zero emissions ambitions and help assure energy security as nations aim to lessen their dependence on imported fossil fuels.

Several nations are aiming for net-zero emissions by the mid-century mark, which experts believe would give the world a chance to limit temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.

To secure energy security in the midst of the present global energy crisis, countries are striving to lessen their dependency on imported fossil fuels.

To achieve net-zero emissions, nuclear power capacity must double to 812 gigatonnes (GW) by 2050, up from 413 GW earlier this year, according to an IEA research.

Annual nuclear power capacity expansions must reach 27 GW by the 2030s, according to the report.

Around 260 GW, or 63 percent, of the world’s nuclear facilities are over 30 years old and reaching the end of their original operating licenses.

Despite efforts in the last three years to prolong the lives of plants representing around 10% of the worldwide fleet, nuclear facilities in wealthy nations might fall by a third by 2030, according to the analysis.

“In today’s context of the global energy crisis, skyrocketing fossil fuel prices, energy security challenges and ambitious climate commitments, I believe nuclear power has a unique opportunity to stage a comeback,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

“However, a new era for nuclear power is by no means guaranteed. It will depend on governments putting in place robust policies to ensure safe and sustainable operation of nuclear plants for years to come,” he added.

Although advanced countries hold approximately 70% of worldwide nuclear capacity, the fleet is aging. According to the research, investment has stopped, and the most recent major projects have ran well over budget and behind time.

27 of the 31 reactors that have started construction since the beginning of 2017 are of Russian or Chinese design.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine calls into doubt the export possibilities for Russian-built nuclear power reactors. Finland, for example, has abandoned a deal with Rosatom to construct a facility in Finland, claiming delays and higher dangers owing to the Ukraine conflict.

Source: Reuters

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