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Research Report

Redefining Leadership in the Global Nuclear Energy Market

Andrew Paterson
Walter Howes
Mihaela Carstei
Kathryn Sparks
Sydney Fields
Mark Nicholas
Lucas Rogers
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2013
Published by: Atlantic Council
Pages: 26
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-12)

    Global energy demand will increase substantially in the coming decades under pressure from global trends, including an increasing population that will reach 9 billion by 2040, and, for the first time in history, will be overwhelmingly urban.¹ Meeting basic global energy needs will require the use of all available sources of energy while addressing and minimizing environmental and climate impacts. Nuclear energy is an established part of the world’s electricity mix, and provides large-scale, reliable, base-load electricity demand. As such, it seems to be well matched to fit into an increasingly urban world that aims to mediate environmental challenges.


  2. (pp. 13-18)

    The new reality is that while US utilities remain a leader in operating nuclear plants, this status may be short-lived, as US companies will not lead the construction of new nuclear power plants. New domestic orders for plants will be few and far between until electric demand rebounds in the United States, and there is greater certainty about the price of gas in the longer term. In the interim, foreign orders can help the US nuclear industry maintain the infrastructure and adequate workforce necessary to meet domestic demand when it resurfaces. Furthermore, the US government’s stake in ensuring that industry...

  3. (pp. 19-21)

    The United States has a range of choices when it comes to deciding how to proceed in the face of increased demand for nuclear power in many countries that have concluded that a balanced energy portfolio will be essential over the longer term. Leadership in the nuclear landscape of safeguards, regulatory policy, and competition no longer means selling or operating more reactors than the next country; instead, it will increasingly be executed through international cooperative agreements and by multinational consortiums and investments, supported by government policies mindful of long-term benefits, such as energy security and emissions reductions.

    Lapsed international accords...