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COP28 shines spotlight on nuclear power

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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 the Financial Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: At COP28, amidst lofty commitments, the focus has shifted to nuclear power's role in climate change mitigation
• Nearly two dozen countries, including the US, UK, and UAE, have signed a declaration to triple nuclear energy by mid-century

🔭 The context: While nuclear power is seen as a key player in reducing emissions, its practicality is debated due to high costs, long construction times, and waste management issues
• Global nuclear power generation declined in 2022, raising questions about the feasibility of the COP28 target

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The potential expansion of nuclear power highlights the complexities and challenges in the global shift towards low-carbon energy sources

⏭️ What's next: The success of nuclear power in the energy transition depends on managing construction costs and timelines
• Small modular reactors (SMRs), although promising, face uncertainties in timely deployment

💬 One quote: "This may be a make-or-break period for whether nuclear energy expands into a significant player in US decarbonisation goals." (researchers, Center on Global Energy Policy)

📈 One stat: The US, leading in nuclear power generation, faces a challenge with construction costs ranging from $3,000 to $6,200/kW, while costs in China and India are over 40% cheaper

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