The research into the sustainability of nuclear and other electricity options in the UK shows that nuclear power could make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. However, that would require a huge expansion of nuclear, constituting 35% of the electricity mix by 2035, almost double the current contribution.
Given that most current nuclear power stations are due to close in this period, this scenario seems unfeasible, the authors claim.
At the same time, expansion of nuclear power would worsen other sustainability aspects, including depletion of natural resources, ozone layer depletion, toxicity and health impacts from radiation.
The SPRIng report, which is released today, also shows that if energy consumption can be reduced significantly, nuclear power is not essential for meeting the UK climate change targets.