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The West’s nuclear power revival is running out of steam 

Summarised by Centrist

At last year’s COP28 climate summit, major countries pledged support for nuclear power to achieve net-zero goals. However supply chain constraints, delays and multi-billion dollar cost overruns of recent projects in Europe are throwing cold water on nuclear ambitions.

While the United States and other Western nations are optimistic about nuclear power’s role in reducing carbon emissions, the industry’s track record suggests a slower rollout than hoped. The CEO of AtkinsRéalis, known for its natural-uranium reactor design, acknowledges that demand is outstripping supply. 

Some EU member states, which are former Soviet bloc countries, still rely heavily on Russian uranium to power their ageing reactors. This has led to a doubling of uranium imports last year despite wider EU efforts to reduce reliance on Russian trade. 

In response, the US is reviving domestic uranium production and investing in advanced reactor designs. With uranium prices soaring, producers are restarting dormant mines.

Entrepreneurs like Bill Gates are involved in efforts to develop small-scale reactors and innovative energy storage systems. 

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