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Fixation on UK nuclear power may not help to solve climate crisis

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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 Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: While renewable energy sources like wind and solar are making significant progress in reducing reliance on fossil fuels in the UK, nuclear power continues to receive the majority of taxpayer subsidies
• This support persists despite concerns over the viability and cost-effectiveness of nuclear solutions, including small modular reactors (SMRs)

🔭 The context: Researchers from Oxford and other institutions argue that the UK has the capability to be entirely powered by renewables, eliminating the need for fossil fuels
• Politicians in the UK and the US are nevertheless promoting SMRs, which are still in the design stage and unproven at scale

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The focus on nuclear power, with its unresolved issues like waste management and high costs, might delay more sustainable solutions like renewables
• This approach could be detrimental in the urgent fight against climate change

⏭️ What's next: The ongoing investment in nuclear power, especially in untested technologies like SMRs, is likely to continue stirring debate
• The efficacy of these investments in combating climate change remains to be seen as the technology develops

💬 One quote: "The biggest disadvantage, the group says, is that even if the technology worked it would be too little, too late, to keep the climate safe." – Union of Concerned Scientists, USA

📈 One stat: Nuclear power plants provided about 10% of the world’s electricity in 2023, underscoring its significant yet limited role in the global energy mix

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