Nuclear Energy to Combat Climate Change for Developing Countries

Key Points:

  • Nuclear energy is a low-carbon and sustainable energy source. However, due to the military applications of nuclear technology, it has become a political issue and its true potential has not been achieved.
  • The responsibility for the current levels of carbon footprint in the atmosphere lies mainly with the developed countries. But the severity of the threat is faced by the developing and underdeveloped countries, where the resources to mitigate the effects of climate change are limited.
  • While strong regulatory and control measures are essential for nuclear technologies’ handling, they have also become the subject of geopolitics. The development of nuclear energy faces political issues more than economic and technical issues.
  • Developing countries lack the expertise, technologies, and resources to develop nuclear power to meet their growing national demands without the help and political support of developed countries.
  • Pakistan plans to have 11 nuclear power plants with 8900-megawatt capacity by 2030, and 32 plants with 44000-megawatt capacity by 2050, thereby increasing the share of nuclear power to one-fourth of total electricity produced nationally.
  • Apart from increasing the allocation of more resources to tackle climate change, developed countries can come forward to help developing countries prevent and mitigate climate threats by promoting nuclear power in those countries. More than 30 countries are planning to develop nuclear power but face a range of challenges.
  • Developed countries and international institutions like the IAEA can stimulate the developing states’ plans for nuclear power. Employing advanced nuclear reactor designs with improved safety, plugging gaps in the proliferation regime, effective radioactive waste management and further cost reduction for constructing nuclear power plants can be intrinsic steps that can be taken.

Samran Ali

Samran Ali is an Islamabad-based defense analyst. He writes on military capabilities, national security, and defense issues. He tweets at @Samranali6.

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