New Nuclear Watch Institute (NNWI) said the ‘Yes to Nuclear Perspectives’ initiative is backed by Belgium-based nuclear consultancy Nuclear-21, the Nuclear Innovation Alliance and World Nuclear Transport Institute.
The sustainable development goals were set by the UN general assembly in 2015, the same year that COP21 led to the signing of the Paris climate agreement by almost 200 countries.
The Paris agreement’s goal is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
NNWI said it will evaluate the role of nuclear power in relation to each of the goals in a series of monthly publications leading up to COP26 in November. These will each feature one SDG in the context of both an industry perspective and a country perspective.
NNWI chairman Tim Yeo, a former Conservative Party environment minister, said NNWI wants to improve the world's understanding of nuclear power and its far-reaching applications.
He said the benefits of nuclear go far wider than simply the provision of low-carbon electricity to tackle climate change. “They extend to a wider set of energy services decarbonising transport, heating and industrial applications while continuing bringing high value solutions in agriculture and medicine,” he said.
In December 2020, NNWI said in a report that nuclear-produced hydrogen could make a sizeable contribution to the development of the hydrogen economy in the UK and Europe, but progress will depend on the adoption of technology-neutral policies which do not discriminate against nuclear power.
The report concluded that using nuclear power to produce hydrogen using electrolyser technology has several advantages compared to using intermittent renewables.
In July 2020, 15 companies and trade unions, including France’s state-controlled power company EDF and several engineering firms, announced proposals for a clean energy hub in the UK including up to three EPR reactors, small modular reactors and the production of hydrogen.
The Royal Society said in a recent policy briefing that nuclear energy has the potential to help the UK to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, not only through the generation of low-carbon electricity but also by using reactor heat to produce hydrogen.