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China poised to surpass the U.S. as the world’s top nuclear power producer

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Forbes or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: As an energy source, nuclear power is unique, offering large-scale firm power with some of the lowest levelized carbon dioxide emissions, comparable only to those of wind energy
• The U.S., holding a 30.3% global share in nuclear power production, has seen stagnant growth in this sector for the past decade while competitors like China and India have looked to increase their energy outputs

🔭 The context: The growth of nuclear power has stagnated since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, with public distrust further deepened by the Fukushima incident in 2011
• Prior to Chernobyl, there was significant global enthusiasm for nuclear energy, but these incidents altered its trajectory

🌎 Why it matters for the planet: To achieve net-zero energy by 2050, the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggests doubling global nuclear output, emphasizing the development of safer nuclear plants
• Advancements in nuclear technology can lead to plants resistant to disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima, though public skepticism remains a challenge to overcome 

⏭️ What's next: With the U.S. inaugurating its first new nuclear reactors in over thirty years, the race for nuclear power supremacy is heating up, especially as China's rapid nuclear expansion threatens to eclipse U.S. leadership within a decade 
• Addressing global carbon emissions demands such nuclear advancements, as renewables struggle to meet growing energy demands

💬 One quote: "Although we can't change the past, we can work to improve the public’s attitude toward nuclear power... But the stakes are too high. We have to devote the resources into doing this" (Robert Rapier, author and energy specialist) 

📈 One stat: Power produced from coal, the world's most significant electricity source, produces over 70 times more CO2 equivalent per kWh than nuclear or wind energy

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