The unexpected return of nuclear - what to make of it?

With mounting concern and recognition over the speed and pace of the low carbon energy transition that’s needed, nuclear has been reframed as a partial response to the threat of global heating, especially in countries like France.

But at the heart of this are questions about whether nuclear could help with the climate crisis, whether nuclear is economically viable, what are the consequences of nuclear accidents, what to do with the waste, and whether there’s a place for nuclear within the swiftly expanding renewable energy evolution. What are the major advantages and disadvantages? And why is nuclear power not the solution to all problems? Dr. Paul Dorfman, Associate Fellow SPRU University of Sussex, reveals.


  • 4.01: Why is nuclear energy too expensive in absolute terms to make a relevant contribution to global electricity generation?
  • 8.50: Discussion of the EU taxonomy: what is actually understood by it?
  • 12.39: What about the all-time known risks of nuclear power?
  • 19.16: What would be the consequences for renewable energy investments?

Published: February 17, 2022

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About Dr. Paul Dorfman

Dr Paul Dorfman is Associate Fellow, Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), Sussex Business School, University of Sussex; Chair, Nuclear Consulting Group (NCG); Member, Irish Govt. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Radiation Protection Advisory Committee (RPAC); Member, International Nuclear Risk Assessment Group (INRAG); Nuclear Researcher, Greenpeace Environmental Trust.

Paul served as Secretary to the UK Govt. scientific advisory Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters (CERRIE); led the European Environment Agency (EEA) response to Fukushima; served as Expert to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC); Advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) Nuclear Submarine Dismantling Project (SDP); Adviser to the French Govt. Assemblee Nationale relative à la Faisabilité Technique et Financière du Démantèlement des Installations Nucléaire; and drafted sets of UK Department of Health National Health Service (NHS) guidance.

Specialties: Nuclear policy, energy futures, environmental risk, pollution control, and participatory democracy

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