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No: 201
Conference: LJUBLJANA 2012 - Nuclear Energy for New Europe
Title: Multi-Criteria Analysis of the Role of Nuclear Power in the Global Energy System
Theme: Sustainability of Nuclear Energy
Author(s): Mariliis Lehtveer, D. McCollum, M. Makowski, F. Hedenus
Contact : Mariliis Lehtveer
E-mail: mariliis.lehtveer@chalmers.se
Address: Chalmers University of Technology
SE-41296 Goeteborg
Country: Sweden
Author's proposal: Oral presentation
 
Recent years have witnessed renewed interest in nuclear power related research. Most studies have focused on costs competitiveness, but the global need to cope with climate change and cut CO2 emissions has shown that new studies including carbon costs and other climate change related effects are needed. Considering these factors and their effects may considerably enhance the attractiveness of nuclear power, but nuclear power can also be beneficial in enhancing energy security or in helping to reduce air pollution. Many countries, particularly among developing states, have openly declared a willingness to start a nuclear programme or increase their current capacity despite risks stemming from waste and proliferation issues, reactor safety and high construction costs. Since the decision to build nuclear power plants is never based on one criterion only, it is necessary to look into various synergies and trade-offs by using multi criteria analysis.
Under the framework of the Global Energy Assessment, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) has recently been involved in developing transformational energy pathways that simultaneously achieve a variety of energy sustainability goals. In this and other analyses, it is clear that nuclear power is a key uncertainty in future energy production; it could play an important role in attaining stringent climate targets, or technological or socio-political concerns will preclude a nuclear renaissance.
To better assess the role of nuclear power, a new functionality to the IIASA Energy Programís integrated modelling framework Model for Energy Supply Strategy Alternatives and their General Environmental Impact (MESSAGE) was added so that issues like nuclear waste and proliferation risks can be quantified using standard indicators. Together with previously developed indicators of health, energy security, climate change and energy affordability, this provides a basis for projecting the nuclear sectorís role toward achieving a wealth of energy and climate targets.