More Countries Get IAEA's Nod to Build Nuclear Power Plants

    Photo: Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images

    The Facts

    • About a dozen new countries could begin producing electricity from nuclear power sources within a few years, the International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi said at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris on Tuesday.

    • According to the IAEA, the number of nuclear reactors in the world must double to achieve the Paris climate agreement's targets. Grossi has said that 10 countries, including Nigeria, have already "entered the decision phase to build nuclear power plants."


    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Concerns about climate change, national security, and unreliable electrical grids have pushed the world to recognize that nuclear power has long been wrongfully stigmatized, especially in popular culture. Nuclear power is a zero-carbon, reliable energy source, far safer than other alternatives, such as coal and natural gas, in terms of deaths from accidents and pollution.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Though it would be easy to genuinely believe the revival of nuclear energy will solve ongoing crises, including the climate breakdown, closer scrutiny shows an opposing reality. As nuclear reactors risk being weaponized, nuclear power is less reliable and safe than its advocates claim. The world should instead be investing in weather-based renewable energy.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that at least 8.3% of global primary energy consumption will be produced by nuclear power in 2040, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


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