#15 Nuclear power reduces inequalities

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Published on 03/01/2022

(providing everyone with access to affordable electricity)

How does nuclear contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal #10: Reduced Inequalities?

Unequal access to energy within and between countries has dramatic adverse effects on individuals and economies around the world, ranging from ambient air pollution to price shocks caused by energy shortages.

Energy can be – and has been – used as a political tool, and energy systems that rely heavily on imported fossil fuels are susceptible to outside influence. This often particularly harms the most vulnerable individuals or nations.

Nuclear power can help reduce these inequalities. The uranium that powers nuclear reactors is accessible in many parts of the world. Nuclear fuel can easily be stored for many years, providing insurance against potential supply problems.

This diverse supply chain and ease of storage give nations greater control over their own energy systems, and thus the potential to reduce the huge inequalities that currently exist between countries.

Nuclear reactors also help protect individuals against price shocks that strongly affect low-income households.

While the fuel costs of fossil power plants are a very large part of their overall costs, thus exposing consumers to extreme pricing changes, the fuel cost of nuclear power plants is less than 5% of the overall cost, so that uranium price variations have a negligible impact on production costs.

Nuclear power can thus help reduce inequalities by protecting low-income households from market volatility.

The full report of the World Nuclear Association is available here.