Nuclear power is an established part of the world’s energy mix. The strategic role of nuclear power has come into focus as governments move to decarbonise their electricity generation while also responding to rising demand and concerns about energy security. Nuclear power provides a source of large-scale, baseload supply but its place in countries’ clean energy strategies varies in the light of government responses to heightened safety fears following the 2011 Japan earthquake.
Nuclear power provides a clean energy opportunity but it also brings immense challenges. Safety, finances, very long timescales, skills shortages and considerable public and political scrutiny all add to the complexity of developing nuclear power projects.
The 2011 Fukushima emergency in Japan intensified these challenges but its aftermath has also seen a reaffirmation of many countries’ commitments to the
expansion of nuclear power. Different countries have reacted in different ways that reflect their own circumstances. However, the continued importance of nuclear power in the world’s overall energy mix is not in doubt.