The United States is set to lead a global initiative at the COP28 climate summit, aiming to triple the installed nuclear power capacity worldwide by 2050.
The move represents a major reversal for the contentious technology within the realm of climate negotiations. A declaration, scheduled to be signed on December 1 in Dubai, is expected to enlist support from the UK, France, Sweden, Finland, and South Korea.
According to a leaked document seen by Bloomberg News, the declaration will urge international financial institutions, including the World Bank, to incorporate nuclear energy into their lending policies. Simultaneously, the nuclear industry is poised to commit to tripling generation resources from 2020 levels shortly thereafter, according to undisclosed sources.
John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate, emphasized the significance of nuclear energy in addressing global net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, stating that it is “100% part of the solution” and qualifies as clean energy.
The draft of the declaration recognizes the pivotal role of nuclear energy in achieving carbon neutrality by mid-century, highlighting its status as the second-largest source of clean and dispatchable baseload power.
This shift in sentiment towards nuclear power, which avoids carbon dioxide emissions but has faced criticism for waste generation, construction costs, and security concerns, reflects growing support, particularly as a reliable backup for renewable sources like wind and solar. The participating countries are also committing to exploring new technologies, such as small modular reactors.
The news has caused a significant jump in the uranium market, with spot prices going up to $76.25/lb, up $1.75.
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