Nuclear Energy Futures

About the series

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.

In the Series

In a new report, CIGI experts state that a worldwide nuclear revival is unlikely before 2030. There is a window of opportunity to address urgent governance to avoid accidents, nuclear terrorism and proliferation. An action plan derived from the report recommends five steps the international community should take to ensure safety and security standards, reinforce the International Atomic Energy Agency as the central nuclear agency and ensure that a revival is managed with care.

The Action Plan, Overview and Final Report (published in 4 parts) are available online.
Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa and a major oil exporter, suffers from chronic energy shortages. Years of under-investment, lack of maintenance and perpetual resource supply problems have elevated the situation to crisis levels. National policy makers have consequently
expressed an interest in nuclear power as a source of stable electricity.
Worldwide renewed interest in nuclear power has raised concerns about proliferation, safety and security. The Obama administration's policies are similar to yet different from former President George W. Bush. Tighter rules on sensitive nuclear technologies in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) are a priority for the current administration as is establishing international nuclear fuel banks and other supply assurances, and enhancing safeguards and security and efforts against nuclear terrorism.
Canada was one of the first countries to adopt nuclear energy. It is the world’s largest supplier of natural uranium and a supplier of nuclear technology and expertise. But the future role of nuclear energy in Canada in now in question. This paper provides an analysis of the future of nuclear energy in Canada and the likely parameters of any revival.
The most recent addition to CIGI's Nuclear Energy Futures series, this paper discusses the Canadian mining of uranium, its subsequent processing, current enrichment technologies and the capital and operating costs of a modern centrifuge enrichment plant.
Considerable debate over the future of the United Kingdom's nuclear power industry resulted in publication of a white paper in January 2008 and ambitious proposals for a new build. While nuclear power has met about one fifth of UK electricity needs in the past decade, about one third of Britain's total electricity generating capacity is expected to need replacing over the next 20 years, partly because most existeing nuclear power stations will close. Concrns about security of supply and climate change frame the UK debate, and while the government has concluded that new nuclear build is a major part of any solution, public opinion remains deeply divided - not least because of the legacy of costly and inefficient former UK nuclear projects. This paper explores the status and prospects of the British nuclear industry, including its history, UK energy strategy and the evolving regulatory framework, and discusses the continuing concerns surrounding the prospective new nuclear build in the UK.
If ever there was a country for which the catchphrase "nuclear renaissance" truly applied, it would be Russia. In the Soviet Union, nuclear energy served as a symbol of technological progress and scientific achievement in the country's rivalry with the West. However, the march of Soviet nuclear progress was brought to a halt by the nuclear accident involving a Soviet-designed reactor at Chernobyl in 1986. After languishing for two decades, the nuclear industry in Russia has recently been greeted with renewed funding and enthusiasm. This paper explores the goals and challenges of the Russian nuclear power industry, discussing its status and prospects.