Where Does Decarbonization Come From?

Nuclear, Hydro, and Economic Growth

We know the world is not decarbonizing fast enough to reach global climate targets. But it turns out that no single country, anywhere, ever, has even achieved emissions progress of the scale needed.

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Last Plant Standing

Is Southern Company's Innovation Strategy Enough to Save Nuclear Energy?

Last week, Southern Company announced that it would continue its project to build two AP1000 reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. The decision, which still awaits approval by the Georgia Public Service Commission, could leave Vogtle as the only commercial nuclear power plant under construction in North America. So it’s important to understand why Vogtle is moving forward while many other nuclear projects around the country have been canceled.

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Biotech and Pharma

Case Study No. 3 in How to Make Nuclear Innovative

What will it take to bring 21st-century innovation to the nuclear industry? How to Make Nuclear Innovative, a new Breakthrough Institute report, makes the case for an entirely new model of nuclear innovation based on lessons drawn from some of the most innovative industries in today’s economy. This case study, the third in the series, assesses the “biotech-pharma networked model” of innovation in relation to the nuclear industry’s players, regulators, and public institutions. The nuclear industry will need more support in taking new technologies from the university lab to start-up companies, the authors find, and more explicit recognition of the public health benefits of nuclear compared with other energy sources.

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America’s Role in Global Nuclear Innovation

The Once and Future King?

If there’s a nuclear renaissance happening in the world today, it’s not in America. More reactors went online globally in 2016 than in any year since 1990, but that was mostly in other countries—China, Pakistan, India, and Russia. That makes sense, since electricity demand is growing globally while stagnating in the United States. But is there a downside to the United States forfeiting leadership in nuclear energy?

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Wide-Body Aircraft

Case Study No. 2 in How to Make Nuclear Innovative

What will it take to bring 21st-century innovation to the nuclear industry? How to Make Nuclear Innovative, a new Breakthrough Institute report, makes the case for an entirely new model of nuclear innovation based on lessons drawn from some of the most innovative industries in today's economy. This case study, the second in the series, follows the recent development of wide-body aircraft as a model, and at times a cautionary tale, for similar innovation in the nuclear industry.

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Commercial Spaceflight

Case Study No. 1 in How to Make Nuclear Innovative

What will it take to bring 21st-century innovation to the nuclear industry? How to Make Nuclear Innovative, a new Breakthrough Institute report, makes the case for an entirely new model of nuclear innovation based on lessons drawn from some of the most innovative industries in today’s economy. This case study, the first in the series, explores the recent history of commercial spaceflight, and the path NASA has taken to stimulate private-sector activity, in order to extract lessons for the nuclear industry and its public-facing institutions. 

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Nuclear

Nuclear energy is an essential source of zero-carbon, efficient, and reliable power that also does not heavily intrude upon the land. But for nuclear to rapidly displace dirty fossil fuels, it must become safer and cheaper. Given their growing populations, industrializing countries like China and India are leading the development and deployment of advanced nuclear technologies. Click here for Breakthrough's FAQ on nuclear.

PUBLICATIONS
 

 


ANALYSIS AND OPINION
 

FAQ on Nuclear

Cost of German Solar Is Four Times Finnish Nuclear

Nuclear and Gas Account for Most Carbon Displacement Since 1950

Subsidies for Solar Two Times Higher Than for Nuclear in California


BREAKTHROUGH IN THE NEWS
 


Robert Bryce, "A Nuclear Option for Energy," May 9, 2014


Ben Geman, "Greens Still See Red On Nuclear," February 2, 2014


Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Can Climate Skeptics Save the Planet?" September 27, 2013


Editorial Board, "Don't Give Up on Nuclear Energy Yet," September 5, 2013


Ashutosh Jogalekar, "Nuclear vs. Renewables: A Tale of Disparaties," August 22, 2013


Bob Dreyfuss, "The IPCC Report and Nuclear Energy," August 21, 2013


Eduardo Porter, "Coming Full Circle in Energy, to Nuclear," August 20, 2013


Bryan Walsh, "New Nuclear Reactor Designs Could Address Safety and Cost Concerns," August 5, 2013


Mark Halper, "Newfangled reactors will slash costs of nuclear power," July 16, 2013


Eliza Strickland, "Can Nuclear Reactors Be Cheap?" July 12, 2013


Fred Pearce, "New Green Vision: Technology As Our Planet's Last Best Hope," July 15, 2013


Bryan Walsh, "Nuclear Energy is Largely Safe. But Can It Be Cheap?" July 8, 2013


Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "Going Green? Then Go Nuclear," May 22, 2013


Joe Garofoli, "Some Environmentalists Back Nuclear Power," June 13, 2013


Robert Bryce, "Rise of the Nuclear Greens," March 7, 2013


Colbert Report, "Tonight's guest: Michael Shellenberger explores global energy consumption, nuclear power and lessons from Frankenstein," January 28, 2013


Tim Wu, "If You Care About the Environment You Should Support Nuclear Power," January 24, 2013