The Paris climate conference concluded this month with an agreement among nearly 200 countries to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and thereby attempt to limit global warming to somewhere between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Proposed emissions cuts—known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions—were voluntary and country-specific. That's to say, different countries proposed to reduce their carbon emissions by different amounts, and in different ways.
As the historic accord was being finalized, the Bulletin asked top energy and environmental experts to comment on the role they think nuclear energy should (or should not) play in efforts to implement the climate plans that countries around the world offered in Paris. That role of course already varies from country to country and will likely continue to vary in the future. The Bulletin offered no particular guidance on the focus of comments sought; positive, negative, and mixed views about the wisdom of continuing or expanding the use of nuclear power were welcomed. The geographical scope of comments was similarly left to the experts, who were given free rein to focus on US considerations, the situation in another country, or on multinational and global concerns.
Here is what they wrote.
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