IPFM has released a new research report The Uncertain Future of Nuclear Energy. The report provides an overview of the status of nuclear power worldwide, with country studies for China, India, Japan, South Korea, the United States and Western Europe. It discusses why the International Atomic Energy Agency and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency project nuclear power as approximately maintaining but not greatly increasing during the next two to four decades its 14% of global electric power generation in 2009. The reasons include the currently very limited capacity to build nuclear power plants, high capital costs in North America and Western Europe, the perception by the private sector that nuclear power plants are risky investments, and continuing public mistrust of the nuclear industry despite the passage of two and a half decades since the Chernobyl accident.
Frank von Hippel is the editor and lead author of the report, which includes contributions by Matthew Bunn, Anatoli Diakov, Tadahiro Katsuta, Charles McCombie, M.V. Ramana, Ming Ding, Yu Suyuan, Tatsujiro Suzuki, and Susan Voss.
This IPFM report is a shortened version of the second draft of a chapter on nuclear energy that is to appear as part of the 2010 Global Energy Assessment (GEA). It is being published as an IPFM report with the permission of the GEA because it provides useful background for IPFM studies relating to nuclear power.