Nuclear energy & the sustainable development goals
The world has been strongly impacted by human activities over the last century, intensifying and accelerating the effects of global warming and climate change. The overuse of resources compromises our ability to meet our and future generations’ needs; therefore, action is needed now.
Energy is essential to achieving a sustainable future for all; decarbonising this industry is critical whilst ensuring an abundant and affordable supply. To achieve this, we must deploy low-carbon energy technologies, including nuclear. Additionally, nuclear science and technology have applications in agriculture, food security, art, medicine, history preservation, environment, mining etc.
No poverty – Access to electricity is highly related to dignified living standards. Nuclear can provide abundant, clean and affordable electricity to power all sectors of the economy, homes, and public services; this is key to the sustainable development of the Global South.
Quality education – Running a nuclear power programme and research institutes require specialized and well-trained personnel, opening exciting opportunities for the local communities. Additionally, access to electricity is key for access to education in rural communities and allows to power technologies like computers and get internet access.
Gender equality This highly relates to the previous points as socio-economical development and equality education are needed to achieve gender equality. Research has proven that women and girls are positively impacted by access to electricity as they spend less time gathering fuel (wood and biomass). Additionally, the industry is strongly committed to achieving gender equality, promoting careers in science, championing women organizations such as Women in Nuclear and opening opportunities through scholarship programs like the IAEA Marie Curie.
Affordable & Clean Energy – Clean and affordable electricity for ALL. Since first deployed, in the 50s, Nuclear Power has avoided 10 Billion tCO2 eq (tons of carbon dioxide equivalent). It has further potential to help us decarbonize the global economy, energy, and transport industry. The characteristics of nuclear power make it available 24/7, has a low land use impact, is low-carbon, and has low operational costs making it affordable.
Decent work and economic growth – Nuclear power plants can function for more than 60 years, creating decent jobs and boosting the local economy from construction to decommissioning. The nuclear power programmes helped transform poor 1950s Korea and Japan into the heavy industry, high-income economies they are today and remain affordable and clean methods of creating electricity.
Industry, innovation and infrastructure – Designs of NPP’s like the SMR.
Sustainable cities and communities – Nuclear is humanity friendly, and saves our posterity from untimely deaths. It is estimated that CO2 caused 4.2 million premature deaths in our communities in 2016 (UNHABITAT). Nuclear electricity saves lives.
Climate action – low carbon technology that will help in decarbonization of the energy and transport sector through carbon-free electricity for homesteads and industry, carbon-neutral fuels for cars, support BEV in the world etc.
Peace, justice and strong institutions – The global nuclear industry promotes safety, security and safeguards such as the IAEA and the CTBTO.
“Nuclear Energy is the source that can make it all work – not just electricity production but job creation, economic revitalization and decarbonization” - Maria Korsnick, President and CEO of NEI.
“Reliable nuclear carbon-free energy provides the foundation of a clean energy future to reach climate goals and improve public health and quality of life” - Maria Korsnick, President and CEO of NEI.
“For those countries who choose to implement this technology, nuclear power is an important source of low-carbon electricity and heat that can contribute to attaining carbon neutrality and hence help to mitigate climate change and attain the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.“ - Olga Algayerova, UN Under-Secretary-General & UNECE Executive Secretary.