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Potential for worldwide displacement of fossil-fuel electricity by nuclear energy in three decades based on extrapolation of regional deployment data

Citation

Qvist, SA and Brook, BW, Potential for worldwide displacement of fossil-fuel electricity by nuclear energy in three decades based on extrapolation of regional deployment data, PLoS ONE, 10, (5) Article e0124074. ISSN 1932-6203 (2015) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright: 2015 Qvist, Brook. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124074

Abstract

There is an ongoing debate about the deployment rates and composition of alternative energy plans that could feasibly displace fossil fuels globally by mid-century, as required to avoid the more extreme impacts of climate change. Here we demonstrate the potential for a large-scale expansion of global nuclear power to replace fossil-fuel electricity production, based on empirical data from the Swedish and French light water reactor programs of the 1960s to 1990s. Analysis of these historical deployments show that if the world built nuclear power at no more than the per capita rate of these exemplar nations during their national expansion, then coal- and gas-fired electricity could be replaced worldwide in less than a decade. Under more conservative projections that take into account probable constraints and uncertainties such as differing relative economic output across regions, current and past unit construction time and costs, future electricity demand growth forecasts and the retiring of existing aging nuclear plants, our modelling estimates that the global share of fossil-fuel-derived electricity could be replaced within 25-34 years. This would allow the world to meet the most stringent greenhouse-gas mitigation targets.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:nuclear energy, climate change
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Interdisciplinary Engineering
Research Field:Nuclear Engineering (incl. Fuel Enrichment and Waste Processing and Storage)
Objective Division:Energy
Objective Group:Energy Transformation
Objective Field:Nuclear Energy
Author:Brook, BW (Professor Barry Brook)
ID Code:107168
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2016-03-07
Last Modified:2017-11-06
Downloads:406 View Download Statistics

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