Keywords: nuclear power, global projections, greenhouse gas mitigation, energy security, nuclear safety, nuclear security, public acceptance, nuclear energy, national energy policy, energy prices, air pollution reduction, nuclear waste
Prospects for nuclear power in the 21st century: a world tour
Objectives and content of the journal special issue on 'Prospects for nuclear energy in the 21st century' are introduced. It is concluded that the main reasons for considering nuclear power in the national energy portfolios include hedging against supply security risks and high fossil energy prices in most countries, complemented by climate change mitigation in developed countries and by local and regional air pollution reduction in developing countries. Concerns over nuclear power include operation safety, nuclear weapon proliferation, economic performance, nuclear waste disposal and public acceptance. The relative importance of these factors diverges widely across regions and countries.