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Climate Change, Energy Security, and Nuclear Power

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Abstract:

Two factors have resuscitated interest in nuclear power throughout the developed world: high hydrocarbon prices and concerns about climate change. This paper considers the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power as a mechanism for achieving climate change mitigation and energy security objectives. It also highlights some of the methodological problems faced by governments trying to decide which energy technologies to support in the future, including uncertainties about the comparative economics of nuclear power and other low-carbon options, particularly renewables. Special consideration is given to issues including lifecycle emissions, radioactive wastes, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, water and fuel availability issues, and the relationship between forms of electrical generation and the character and functioning of the electrical grid. ...

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-02-01

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  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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