The results of the research, published in the monthly scientific journal Nature Energy, provide an analysis of 123 countries and conclude that bringing nuclear power stations on line does not lead to the as great a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions as do renewable sources. In some developing countries, nuclear programmes actually led to a rise in emissions.
The researchers also showed that nuclear power and renewable sources do not complement each other well but, rather, tend to crowd out each other.
The research was caried out between 1999 and 2014 – and could, however, fail to take into account the latest developments in nuclear power.
“The evidence clearly points to nuclear being the least effective of the two broad carbon emissions abatement strategies, and coupled with its tendency not to co-exist well with its renewable alternative, this raises serious doubts about the wisdom of prioritising investment in nuclear over renewable energy,” wrote Benjamin Sovacool, Professor of Energy Policy in the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School.