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Nuclear Energy in Mitigation Pathways to Net Zero



English IAEA/PAT/004

20 pages ¦ Date published: 2023

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This publication addresses the contribution of nuclear energy in global climate change mitigation pathways as put forth by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency. Global mitigation scenario pathways from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report and the International Energy Agency (IEA) World Energy Outlook highlight an important role for nuclear energy, in combination with other low carbon energy sources, in transition pathways compatible with the 1.5 and 2°C goals of the Paris Agreement. Most low carbon pathways project a doubling or more of global nuclear electricity generation by 2050. However, beyond electricity, the mitigation potential of nuclear energy in non-electric applications, such as the use of nuclear heat and hydrogen to decarbonize hard-to-abate activities in heavy industry and transportation, may not yet be fully reflected in current scenario pathways. This identifies an opportunity to enhance future scenario analyses to better support effective climate policy action.

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