Oxford Energy Forum: Keeping the Nuclear Power Option Open

Judith M. Greenwald, Director of Innovative Solutions at the Pew Center, Discusses Keeping the Nuclear Power Option Open
(This article appeared in Oxford Energy Forum, May 2005)


Addressing the challenge of global climate change will require a sustained and comprehensive commitment to climate-friendly policies and investments throughout the world. Such policies and investments must be focused on enabling a transition to a low-carbon economy through a significant reduction in annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. A commonly stated goal is to stabilize the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) at twice its pre-industrial level. Such a “decarbonization” in the context of increasing global demand for energy would necessitate an increase of roughly 100 to 300 percent of present-day worldwide “primary power” consumption from non-CO2-emitting sources such as renewables, nuclear power, the use of fossil fuels with carbon capture and sequestration, and energy efficiency improvements.

Achieving this transition depends on both near-term and long-term actions...