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Why investing in new nuclear plants is bad for the climate [Commentary]


Haywood,  Luke
External Organizations;

Leroutier,  Marion
External Organizations;


Pietzcker,  Robert C.
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Haywood, L., Leroutier, M., Pietzcker, R. C. (2023): Why investing in new nuclear plants is bad for the climate [Commentary]. - Joule, 7, 8, 1675-1678.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_28842
There has been a strong push to promote increased investments in new nuclear power as a strategy to decarbonize economies, especially in the European Union (EU) and the United States (US). The evidence base for these initiatives is poor. Investments in new nuclear power plants are bad for the climate due to high costs and long construction times. Given the urgency of climate change mitigation, which requires reducing emissions from the EU electricity grid to almost zero in the 2030s (Pietzcker et al.1 ), preference should be given to the cheapest technology that can be deployed fastest. On both costs and speed, renewable energy sources beat nuclear. Every euro invested in new nuclear plants thus delays decarbonization compared to investments in renewable power. In a decarbonizing world, delays increase CO2 emissions.