Since the release in 2010 of Technology Roadmap: Nuclear Energy (IEA/NEA, 2010), a number of events have had a significant impact on the global energy sector and on the outlook for nuclear energy. They include the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP) accident in March 2011, the global financial and economic crises that hit many industrialised countries during the period 2008-10 and failings in both electricity and CO2 markets. Despite these additional challenges, nuclear energy still remains a proven low-carbon source of base-load electricity, and many countries have reaffirmed the importance of nuclear energy within their countries’ energy strategies.
To achieve the goal of limiting global temperature increases to just 2 degrees Celsius (°C) by the end of the century, a halving of global energy-related emissions by 2050 will be needed. A wide range of low-carbon energy technologies will be needed to support this transition, including nuclear energy.
This edition of the nuclear roadmap prepared jointly by the IEA and NEA take into account recent challenges facing the development of this technology. The 2015 edition of the Nuclear Energy Technology Roadmap aims to:
Outline the current status of nuclear technology development and the need for additional R&D to address increased safety requirements and improved economics.
Provide an updated vision of the role that nuclear energy could play in a low-carbon energy system, taking into account changes in nuclear policy in various countries, as well as the current economics of nuclear and other low-carbon electricity technologies.
Identify barriers and actions needed to accelerate the development of nuclear technologies to meet the Roadmap vision.
Share lessons learnt and good practices in nuclear safety and regulation, front- and back-end fuel cycle practices, construction, decommissioning, financing, training, capacity building and communication.