Canadian Nuclear Industry Urges Federal Government to Support All Forms of Low-Carbon Technologies at COP21
OTTAWA (November 26, 2015) – The Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) today called on the federal government to support nuclear energy as a clean energy source at the Paris climate talks.
“Canada should ensure any decisions or protocols recognize nuclear energy as a low-carbon solution to combat climate change,” said CNA President and CEO Dr. John Barrett.
Dr. Barrett said that Ontario and New Brunswick provide excellent examples on how a modern and complex economy can meet its electricity needs through a low-carbon energy mix. Nuclear provided 62 percent of grid-delivered power in Ontario last year; hydro 24 percent; and wind 4 percent (solar was negligible). It was one of the key factors in helping Ontario end electricity generation from goal. Nuclear energy also provided 31 percent of New Brunswick’s electricity last year, all from a single reactor.
In the United States, President Barack Obama is committed to using every appropriate tool to combat climate change, including nuclear energy.
Earlier this month, the White House hosted a Summit on Nuclear Energy and stated “the continued development of new and advanced nuclear technologies along with support for currently operating nuclear power plants is an important component of our clean energy strategy.”
“This nuclear foundation enables solar and wind technologies to integrate progressively into the electricity system,” said Dr. Barrett. “Canada has proven examples that other countries could consider.”
Nuclear energy is one of the few currently available energy options already proven to be effective and implementable on a large scale. Today it provides 11 percent of global electricity.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), nuclear energy since 1971 has avoided 56 Gt of emissions – equal to nearly two years of global GHG emissions.
A recent IEA study said that a doubling of nuclear-generated electricity by 2040 would help the world to limit the rise in the average global temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The IEA said such an investment would help avoid four years’ worth of global CO2 emissions.
The agency also called for major investments in renewable energies and carbon capture and sequestration.
“Nuclear energy is clearly part of the solution,” said Dr. Barrett. “Not only does it help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but it also provides better energy security, affordable electricity, clean air, and opportunities to advance economic development.”
Canada’s nuclear industry employs 60,000 people who mine uranium, fabricate fuel, design and build reactors, generate electricity, manage spent fuel, advance nuclear medicine, enable advanced manufacturing, and improve food production and safety.
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