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Published: February 4, 2010
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Nuclear Energy and Global Governance to 2030: An Action Plan/ L’energie nucléaire et la gouvernance mondiale à l’horizon 2030 : Plan d’action

Louise Fréchette, Chair, and Trevor Findlay, Director, Nuclear Energy Futures Project


Derived from the results of its Nuclear Energy Futures Project, CIGI has drafted a five-point Action Plan about global governance of nuclear energy to 2030. The Action Plan outlines recommendations the international community should take to:

  • Ensure that all states are committed to and capable of implementing the highest nuclear safety standards
  • Ensure that all nuclear material and facilities are secure from unauthorized access or terrorist seizure or attack
  • Ensure that a nuclear revival does not contribute to proliferation of nuclear weapons
  • Reinforce the centrality of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) through increased funding, modernization and reform
  • Ensure that all stakeholders, especially industry, participate in judiciously managing a nuclear revival.

The project has also published an overview.

The Future of Nuclear Energy to 2030 and Its Implications for Safety, Security and Nonproliferation: Overview

Trevor Findlay


Key findings of a new report on nuclear energy suggest that a significant worldwide expansion is unlikely before 2030, and that a window of opportunity exists to fix the currently inadequate global governance system to avoid accidents, nuclear terrorism and weapons proliferation. The report, which is the culmination of a three-and-a-half year study by CIGI, identifies key drivers that are spurring existing and aspiring nuclear states to develop nuclear energy and the constraints that will limit a “revival.”

Key barriers to a revival include:

  • Unfavourable economics compared to other sources of energy
  • Fewer government subsidies
  • Nuclear energy is too slow to address climate change and to compete with cheaper alternative means of tackling it
  • Demands for energy efficiency are leading to fundamental rethinking of how electricity is generated and distributed
  • Long-term decline of the nuclear sector is resulting in industrial bottlenecks and personnel shortages
  • The nuclear waste issue remains unresolved with no country currently implementing a sustainable solution
  • Growing fears about safety, security and nuclear weapons remain in the public consciousness
  • Developing countries face additional constraints, including inadequate infrastructure, poor governance, deficient regulatory systems and finance. 

Despite these obstacles, some states are proceeding with their nuclear energy plans. Given that reality, there is a crucial need for international governance arrangements.

The Future of Nuclear Energy to 2030 and Its Implications for Safety, Security and Nonproliferation: Final Report is available for download as four detailed reports:

CIGI’s Nuclear Energy Futures Project was conducted in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance (CCTC) at Carleton University in Ottawa.

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Topics: Nuclear Energy

Series: Nuclear Energy Futures

CIGI's Nuclear Energy Futures Papers present research commissioned by the Nuclear Energy Futures Project, which is examining the scope of the purported nuclear energy revival over the coming two decades and its implications for global governance. The papers are written by experts in nuclear energy or nuclear global governance.