Creating a zero carbon future is the great challenge of our time.

A net zero carbon economy is a necessity if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Getting there will require much more low carbon power, especially as heat and transport will be electric.

Nuclear is a low carbon source of power, and has been essential in driving down emissions so far – nearly half of all low carbon energy comes from nuclear.

But to reach net zero, we need to produce much more low carbon power, and we need to do it now.

Nuclear, alongside renewables, must become the backbone of the energy system.

Net zero needs nuclear.

It’s time to Rediscover Nuclear.

Nuclear is low carbon

Nuclear is one of the lowest carbon sources of energy.

Nuclear releases no greenhouse gases from operation, and over their full l...

Nuclear is one of the lowest carbon sources of energy.

Nuclear releases no greenhouse gases from operation, and over their full l...

Nuclear is one of the lowest carbon sources of energy.

Nuclear releases no greenhouse gases from operation, and over their full lifetime have the same emissions as wind power, half the emissions of hydro power and a quarter of solar emissions.

Nuclear also requires less land space than other technologies. Hinkley Point C covers 430 acres to power six million homes, whereas wind power would need an area hundreds of times larger to create as much energy. Less land used means more land is available for other uses to combat climate change.

There is no other source of energy which creates as much energy, produces so few emissions and uses so little land.

 

Why net zero needs nuclear

Achieving a net zero carbon economy means we need to decarbonise all aspects of the economy⁠—including heating, transport and heavy...

Achieving a net zero carbon economy means we need to decarbonise all aspects of the economy⁠—including heating, transport and heavy...

Achieving a net zero carbon economy means we need to decarbonise all aspects of the economy⁠—including heating, transport and heavy industry.

Switching to electric cars and replacing gas boilers will require a lot more electricity.

According to the Committee on Climate Change, the UK will need to double its electricity generation by 2050.

That means much more generation from all low carbon sources, both renewables and nuclear.

We need to act now to make net zero a reality⁠—and as a proven, low carbon source of energy, nuclear must be part of the answer.

How nuclear has reduced emissions so far

Nuclear has played a major role in reducing emissions to date.

Emissions today are 38% smaller than in 1990 and a cleaner energy m...

Nuclear has played a major role in reducing emissions to date.

Emissions today are 38% smaller than in 1990 and a cleaner energy m...

Nuclear has played a major role in reducing emissions to date.

Emissions today are 38% smaller than in 1990 and a cleaner energy mix has been a huge reason for that fall.

Nuclear has been the biggest source of low carbon energy throughout this period.

To give an example of nuclear’s impact, in 2016, nuclear energy avoided 22.7 million tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to taking 1 in 3 cars off the road.

Rediscover more about why net zero needs nuclear.

 

Fiona Reilly

Hear from the NIA’s NED, Fiona Reilly on why it’s vital we Rediscover Nuclear now

 

Nuclear has led the way in cutting emissions

As of 2019, nuclear is 37% of all low carbon power, more than any other single sector.

If we are going to create a zero carbon future, then we will need much more low carbon power.

That means more nuclear power.

See more information about nuclear’s role in delivering decarbonisation opposite.

Driving towards a net zero future

From waste management in the USA, operations and maintenance in the Middle East, plant life extension in Canada, to new build reactors in UK and Europe, our teams engineer, build, manage and decommission nuclear facilities, using the latest technology solutions to ensure the lights stay on and that energy is safer, cleaner and smarter. Our role working on one of the first-generation nuclear reactors in the UK during the 1950s to our current work spanning the global nuclear market means that we are equipped to work on every stage of the nuclear project lifecycle.

Since the acquisition of Atkins by SNC-Lavalin in 2017, over 3,000 nuclear experts worldwide work on projects that combine these specialist skills with technical knowledge from other infrastructure disciplines around the group. Certain offices are dedicated to particular nuclear clients, with whom we work on major nuclear programmes for example Hinkley Point C in UK, ITER in France, and Barakah in the UAE. However all our programmes, whether at Sizewell C, Hunterston B, Sellafield, Darlington, the SMR programme with Rolls Royce, Fukushima, or Berkeley, tap into this cross-sector expertise.

We hold long-term relationships and partnerships with the UK Government on nuclear sector deal and SMR technology; the UAE Government on its new civil nuclear programme; global CANDU utilities, as steward of CANDU technology; and the US Government and Department of Energy.

Our role extends further to advise on future energy policies and the important role that nuclear has to play. Ultimately, we believe that the future energy system must move away from its dependence on fossil fuels. Energy generation will comprise of renewables and nuclear (fission and fusion); storage and smart demand management will be employed to optimise use of generating assets; energy vectors will be electricity and hydrogen; and the system will be much more decentralised than today.

www.atkinsglobal.com

©Rolls-Royce plc
©UBattery

Local Modular Energy

U-Battery is a micro modular nuclear reactor which will be able to produce local power and heat for a range of energy needs. U-Battery is a High Temperature Gas Reactor (HTGR) design, inspired by several well-established HTGR technologies and has a novel configuration utilising low-maintenance gas-turbine ‘off the shelf’ technology. U-Battery uses TRISO fuel.

The concept design was developed by the Universities of Manchester, Dalton Institute (UK) and Technology University of Delft (Netherlands) after the project was initiated in 2008 by Urenco, international supplier of enrichment services and fuel cycle products. U-Battery is being developed by Urenco in partnership with Wood, Kinectrics and Laing O’Rourke.

U-Battery has been designed primarily for off-grid applications, such as in remote communities and mining sites, where it would replace existing diesel generation. U-Battery has identified a sizeable market in Canada – but there is no reason why U-Battery could not replace any of the 100,000’s of similar diesel generators globally.

Additionally, U-Battery has identified an opportunity in helping heavy and energy intensive industries (the Foundation Industries) to decarbonise as they push to a low carbon future and achieving net zero. U-Battery has identified a number of industries which could use a small nuclear embedded source of generation to meet its future process heat and power needs.

The plan is to have the demonstration U-Battery operating by 2028.

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NUCLEAR?

 

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