Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

A solar park in the UK. (Photo: RTPeat/flickr/cc)

New Report Shatters Myth of 'Nuclear Renaissance'

The report 'demonstrates beyond the shadow of a doubt that renewable energy and energy efficiency are a far sounder investment and a much safer choice,' said Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear.

Andrea Germanos

If renewable energy advocates need more evidence that solar and wind are better investments than nuclear power, a new report may offer just that.

The findings come from the newly released World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2015, which looks at global nuclear developments over the past year.

Marking a first in five decades, Japan went without nuclear power for an entire year, the report states. And three of the world’s largest economies—China, Germany, Japan—as well as Brazil, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Spain, now all generate more electricity from non-hydro renewables than from nuclear.

In the UK, renewable energy, including hydropower, provided more electricity output than nuclear in 2014.

Global generation from solar was up 38 percent, and wind power increased over 10 percent. In contrast, nuclear power generation was up just 2.2 percent.

Further, global investments in renewable were far higher than those in the nuclear power sector.

Beyond Nuclear, an organization that advocates for a safe, democratic energy future, said the report belies claims of a "nuclear renaissance."

"This is a valuable study which each year separates empirical fact from nuclear industry fantasy," said Kevin Kamps, a spokesperson for the organization. "It exposes the incredible uncertainties attached to a nuclear energy economy while demonstrating beyond the shadow of a doubt that renewable energy and energy efficiency are a far sounder investment and a much safer choice."

Jonathon Porritt, co-founder and trustee of Forum for the Future and former chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, echoes that sentiment in the forward to the report: "The impressively resilient hopes that many people still have of a global nuclear renaissance are being trumped by a real‐time revolution in efficiency‐plus‐renewables‐plus‐storage, delivering more and more solutions on the ground every year."

Porritt writes that the report "remorselessly lays bare the gap between the promise of innovation in the nuclear industry and its delivered results."

He concludes: "The static, top‐heavy, monstrously expensive world of nuclear power has less and less to deploy against today’s increasingly agile, dynamic, cost‐effective alternatives. The sole remaining issue is that not everyone sees it that way—as yet."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

On Eve of Key Fight, Sanders Asks: 'Will Manchin and Sinema Vote With GOP?'

"We are not going to win the elections in 2022 unless our base is energized and ordinary people understand what we are fighting for, and how we are different than the Republicans."

Jake Johnson ·


UN Chief Urges Global Solidarity on Covid, Climate, and Debt Relief

"The last two years have demonstrated a simple but brutal truth, if we leave anyone behind, in the end, we leave everyone behind," said the secretary-general at the opening of the virtual Davos summit.

Jessica Corbett ·


Sinema's MLK Day Tweet Sparks Online Fury

One group criticized the Democratic senator from Arizona as "the white moderate MLK warned us about."

Andrea Germanos ·


Why Did Democratic AG Kill Flint Water RICO Case?

"Political corruption poisoned Flint and political corruption shielded the wrongdoers from accountability," said one critic following new revelations.

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Counter Cherry-Picked Quotes With MLK's True Legacy

Calling out those who have "weaponized" his words "to justify legislated white supremacy," Rep. Ayanna Pressley said King "was a radical dreamer with a bold vision for revolutionary change."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo