#6 Nuclear power is a tool in the fight against energy poverty

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Published on 03/01/2022

(equality and energy solidarity are not just words)

How does nuclear contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal #1: End Poverty?

Over 700 million people around the world have no access to electricity. And billions more do not have regular and reliable access to electricity.

A reliable, clean and affordable supply of electricity is essential to lift people out of poverty and improve their standard of living. It is also a prerequisite for the achievement of many other United Nations sustainable development goals.

Reducing poverty also means providing well-paid jobs and supporting the economy, especially in developing countries. The construction and operation of nuclear power plants offer such employment opportunities, while stimulating investment in infrastructure and education, and have a strong leverage effect on national economies.

The impacts of poverty are particularly acute in the least developed countries, but fuel poverty can also affect low-income households in the richest countries.

The production costs of nuclear are much less sensitive to the volatility of fuel prices than the production costs of fossil units, in particular gas-fired plants. It can thus mitigate the impact of fossil fuel price spikes on energy prices, which hit the poorest households hard.

Electricity supply decarbonization strategies must also take into account the potential impacts of higher production costs on the poorest. Extending the operating life of existing nuclear reactors is one of the cheapest ways to generate low-carbon electricity.

The large pooled production systems associated with an efficient public electricity supply service are instruments of energy solidarity.

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