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Coronavirus / Incentives For New Nuclear Will Help Recovery, Says NEA

By David Dalton
24 June 2020

Policy paper highlights need for ‘proper policy and market frameworks’
Incentives For New Nuclear Will Help Recovery, Says NEA
Governments should incentivise investments in low carbon energy infrastructure such as nuclear energy in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, the Nuclear Energy Agency said in a series of policy briefs published on Wednesday.

The Paris-based agency said “proper policy and market frameworks” are needed to incentivise investment in essential infrastructure that supports low-carbon electricity security and economic development.

It called for “targeted government support for nuclear energy projects” and said there is “a window of opportunity” for governments to support sustained cost reductions in nuclear energy through new-build decisions. This would reinforce the process of “learning by doing” and lead to reductions in construction costs.

“The sheer size of nuclear projects might be a barrier in some markets where private investors are looking for short term paybacks,” the NEA said. “However, during a period of economic recovery, large scale and long-term energy infrastructure projects, such as nuclear power plants, can galvanise the social cohesion and economic spill overs required to relaunch general economic activity.”

The NEA said nuclear power has been an important source of power system flexibility during the pandemic, helping to maintain electricity security by operating in a load-following mode, complementing the supply of variable renewable generation.

The NEA is examining the regulatory and operational impacts of the pandemic. The four policy briefs published on Wednesday explore the role that nuclear energy can play in the post Covid-19 recovery.

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