Support is trending towards the need for an “All of the Above” approach on climate, including nuclear
If you care about climate, the only data that really matters and which speaks directly to how well we’ve done to date is this: global carbon dioxide emissions. While we managed to stem the growth of annual carbon emissions during the years 2015 and 2016 and it looked like they might be turning the corner, in 2017 carbon emissions increased by almost 2% followed by what is nearly 3% growth in 2018, and now we are on track to reach 37 Gigatons by the end of 2019. (Unfortunately, the IEA has not released a new graph since 2016, so we have updated this image to show the most current information.)
Even with what’s been reported as record amounts of new solar and wind generation being added around the world, global emissions have not only not decreased at all, they continue to grow rapidly. This is evidence that what we’ve been doing is not working.
Where does this leave us? Even further behind where we need to be, which is not just stemming growth but actually reducing emissions precipitously. According to the IPCC, we need to reduce emission by about 50% by 2030 and by the remaining 50% by 2050, after which we then have to start removing as much of the excess emissions from the atmosphere and oceans in order to begin restoring and stabilizing our climate.
Environmentalists, and the policy makers that they’ve influenced, have largely been focusing efforts on expanding renewables. But, because renewables are insufficient to provide reliable energy by themselves, the world has been continuing to build natural gas plants and even coal plants—especially where nuclear plants have been closed. Finally, however, people are beginning to recognize that closing nuclear power plants is just digging ourselves a bigger hole. Fortunately, politicians, environmentalists, energy professionals, climatologists and even climate advocates who crunch the numbers and review the data have been forced seek low-carbon solutions wherever they may be, including nuclear power, which, contrary to popular belief, has a whole lot going for it. Nuclear is a readily scaleable, reliable and powerfully dense form of energy generation technology that not only can ramp up quickly and compete with fossil fuels at scale.
On October 8, 2018, the Union of Concerned Scientists issue a report entitled “The Nuclear Energy Dilemma,” and became the first of the large mainstream environment groups to take a hard, fact-based look at the data and come out in support of nuclear energy. Thereafter, more experts and organizations have begun advocating for the “all of the above” approach, shifting from “means” focus (building renewables) to an “ends” focus (reduced emissions through any means). The list of organizations now supporting nuclear is growing, with more voices joining in almost every day.
UPDATE: As of the September 2019 Democratic Climate Debate, the following candidates have declared their support for the use of nuclear and/or advanced nuclear power to address climate: Senator Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Joe Biden, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, Michael Bennet, John Delaney, Hickenlooper, Amy Klobuchar, Seth Moulton and Tim Ryan support existing and new nuclear plants as necessary to address climate change.
Pronuclear and “Nuclear-Inclusive” Organizations
The following is a chronological lists of such groups. (If you would like to add yours to this list, you may use the “Comment Box” below to provide the relevant information and we will add your group to our list.)
Anthropocene Institute The Anthropocene Institute’s mission is to drive thought leadership and investment. We seek to accelerate the technological and community innovations necessary to address the needs of our planet. We plan for humanity’s success in the Anthropocene. We believe in prosperity rather than austerity. We enable leadership to solve climate and energy with an engineering safety margin with fixed goals, fixed timelines, and fixed budgets.
The Breakthrough Institute The Breakthrough Institute is a global research center that identifies and promotes technological solutions to environmental and human development challenges. We believe that human prosperity and an ecologically vibrant planet are possible at the same time. We are progressives who believe in the potential of human development, technology, and evolution to improve human lives and create a beautiful world. We are researchers, analysts, and writers who reject outmoded orthodoxies on the Left and Right, and are dedicated to new ways of thinking about energy and the environment. We are the authors of reassessments of progressive assumptions, from “The Death of Environmentalism,” which argued for transcending a nature-based politics to Where Good Technologies Come From, which demonstrates the critical role government has played in the development of technologies from the railroad to the iPhone. We are dedicated to bringing new ideas to the table that change the debates over energy, the environment, and the economy so they better reflect the global challenges of the 21st century.
Bright New World We are Bright New World and we are here to win the future back. We are the environmentalists for the 21st century. What does that mean? It means we don’t pick and choose our science and we don’t turn away from reality. Climate change, growing populations, shrinking wild spaces…check, check, check. We stare it in the face and refuse to blink. We mobilise to support practical, achievable solutions that will right this beautiful spaceship of ours. Actions and solutions that start now and will be felt for generations. We know what we need to do and we will fight to get it done. In a world that will soon hold 10 billion humans, each as worthy as the last, the key to our great future is energy. Energy… plentiful, clean and affordable. When we pair it with human ingenuity, it is the great universal substitute that takes the pressure off our natural world. We can get that energy from fission. Nuclear power. Today’s and tomorrow’s technology. With that plentiful clean energy we can conserve, protect and restore our nature while bringing lives of dignity and opportunity to people around the world. We are an all-hands- on-deck kind of place when it comes to renewables and nuclear working together because these challenges are big, big, big. That’s why we need the big pay offs, the big substitutes, the big answers… so we’re a fission-friendly operation, first and foremost.
Clean Air Task Force The Clean Air Task Force works to help safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid global development and deployment of low carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies through research and analysis, public advocacy leadership, and partnership with the private sector.
Clean Energy Leadership Institute (cleanenergyleaders.org) The Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) is a professional development organization based in Washington, DC and San Francisco, CA. CELI’s mission is to empower and connect diverse young professionals seeking leadership roles in the clean energy field. CELI’s Fellowship Program provides early-career professionals with interdisciplinary educational training, leadership development, and a supportive professional community.
Climate Coalition The (U.S.) Climate Coalition is striving to build agreement within the climate movement to avoid distracting arguments about the “means” by which we address climate, so that we can focus on the “ends:” working to transition our complex and dynamic society to achieve 24×7 zero emission options as quickly as possible. Those who recognize that we have a climate emergency to deal with need to ally and fight together against those who refuse to change business as usual—mostly folks allied with or dependent upon the fossil fuel industry (including many politicians). Members of our coalition are working one way or another to address climate, including by developing or support wind, solar, nuclear, advanced nuclear, hydro, geothermal, wave, storage, energy efficiency and CCUS. If you are not willing to work together to solve this crisis, you are part of the problem.
Energy for Humanity is a UK-and Switzerland-based non-profit organisation with a global outlook focused on solving climate change and enabling universal access to modern energy services. Energy for Humanity strongly advocates for evidence-based, whole-system, and technology-inclusive solutions in pursuit of the best (fastest, most cost-effective, most feasible) outcomes for people and nature. Our goal is to address these themes and to inspire meaningful action. Future leaders will need all the tools at their disposal to solve global challenges including climate change and air pollution, whilst providing low cost, clean power to billions of people and improving life chances for women and children throughout the world.
Environmental Progress (EP) was founded to achieve two goals: lift all humans out of poverty, and save the natural environment. These goals can be achieved by mid-century — but only if we remove the obstacles to cheap, reliable and clean energy. Environmental Progress’s biggest victories were saving America’s largest source of clean energy — nuclear power — in Illinois, New York, Connecticut, France, South Korea, and New Jersey. We did so by building a humanistic environmental movement demanding energy justice for all.
Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy is an independent non-profit and international network of over 10,000 environmentalists who recognize the usefulness and importance of supporting nuclear energy to protect the environment and to help make the world better for humanity. The group, founded in France, has developed branches and twenty other countries, including the UK, USA, Japan, South Africa, Canada, Australia, Poland, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, China, Portugal, Russia, Czech, Albania, Sweden and Romania. EFN welcomes professionals and teachers from around the world to contribute to global education about nuclear energy, nuclear medicine, nuclear science and technologies and how they fit in with other energy sources and by-products. The group maintains websites in a number of languages with articles on subjects relating to nuclear energy.
Generation Atomic is a non-profit founded by members of the younger generation who believe that atomic energy has the potential to save the environment, foster innovation, create jobs, and strengthen our society. Unfortunately, at the same time, the largest source of clean energy is at risk at a time when we need it most. Generation Atomic seeks to engage the public using events, social media, and advocacy technology to communicate the benefits of nuclear power. They also work to train a new wave of advocates from a vast array of backgrounds and empower individuals and groups to represent nuclear at the local level by maintaining a diverse network of advocates in our “nuclear family.”
Global Nexus Initiative is a partnership between two non-traditional stakeholder, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and the Partnership for Global Security (PGS), which have jointly created the Global Nexus Initiative (GNI). The GNI will explore the linkages among climate change, nuclear power, and global security issues with the goal of crafting realistic and actionable policy solutions that will ensure the safe and secure use of existing and new nuclear energy sources, support economic vitality, and protect people and the environment.
The Hoover Institution The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace is an American public policy think tank and research institution located at Stanford University in California. It began as a library founded in 1919 by Republican and Stanford alumnus Herbert Hoover, before he became President of the United States.
The Long Now The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996* to develop the Clock and Library projects, as well as to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. We hope to foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.
Mothers for Nuclear We are friends, mothers, environmentalists, scientists, and engineers. We used to be skeptical of nuclear. Now we consider it essential to protecting our children from pollution, our landscapes from sprawl, and future generations from global warming. We’ve learned a lot from our experience working at Diablo Canyon, California’s last nuclear power plant. We started Mothers for Nuclear as a way to share our stories and help address concerns. We also hope to begin a dialogue with those who are skeptical of nuclear.
The Nature Conservancy. Released a report in October 2018 called “The Science of Sustainability.” In this report, they debunk the myth that environmental interests and economic interests are in conflict. Instead they acknowledge that achieving a sustainable future is dependent on our ability to secure both thriving human communities and abundant and healthy natural ecosystems. So, the Nature Conservancy partnered with twelve other organizations to find pathways to serve both the needs of people and nature and addressed all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in turn. They evaluated both the path we are on and the path we need to take to become sustainable. They found that, in order to both meet increased energy demand and keep the climate within safe boundaries, we’ll need to alter the way we produce energy, curtailing emissions of carbon and other harmful chemicals. They found that reducing harmful carbon-based energy could be offset by increasing the share of energy from renewable sources and nuclear energy combined to a total of 85% of the world’s energy demand, per this graphic.
The Nuclear Alternative Project. Puerto Rico has been an energy deficient country since Hurricane Maria struck two years ago. As technology and the climate changes, nuclear energy seems to have risen as a primary source to base their energy supply on. In response, the Department of Energy has granted The Nuclear Alternative projected the responsibility of prospecting Puerto Rico to possibly build advanced nuclear reactors. A member of the project team, Donald Hoffman said, “It’s our intent to showcase our advanced nuclear as an alternative energy option for Puerto Rico.” Unlike wind and solar, nuclear power plants hold up well in hurricanes. Puerto Rico’s clean energy future is soon to be heard as their report is due on December 18th.
Nuclear Innovation Alliance. The world needs affordable, dispatchable, secure, low carbon energy that can scale up rapidly; nuclear power can uniquely meet that need. Nuclear energy development stalled late in the 20th Century due to political controversy, market factors, and project management failures, complicated by the scale and complexity of early nuclear technologies. Now, advanced reactor concepts promise to lower risk and cost and reduce deployment barriers. The challenge is to maintain and accelerate America’s nuclear innovation and to maintain the strategic and economic advantages of continued US leadership in this area. The Nuclear Innovation Alliance has four strategic priorities that it is pursuing to maintain and enhance American nuclear innovation: 1 Provide a staged, and ultimately more technology-neutral licensing process based upon risk-informed principles. 2. Provide a test bed where nuclear innovators in the private sector can demonstrate advanced technologies. 3. Cooperation to provide for international commercial testing, demonstration, and deployment of advanced technologies. 4. Financial support for early stage technology development and early commercial deployment.
Third Way Third Way is a national think tank that champions modern center-left ideas. Our work is grounded in the mainstream American values of opportunity, freedom, and security. But we identify as center-left, because we see that space in U.S. politics as offering the only real path for advancing those ideals in the century ahead. Our agenda is ambitious, aspirational, and actionable. It is built on the bedrock belief that for political movements to succeed in our political system, they must relentlessly re-imagine their policies, strategies, and coalitions. We are fighting for opportunity, so everyone has the chance to earn a good life; progress on social issues, so all have the freedom to live the lives they choose; and security, so we are protected from 21st century global threats.
Union of Concerned Scientists The Union of Concerned Scientists has finally taken a sharp pencil to the issue of climate change and realized that, if the the U.S. doesn’t protect its nuclear power, we will likely not meet our emissions reduction goals and climate change will spiral out of control. They released a report called “The Nuclear Power Dilemma” with their findings about the state of nuclear power in the US and their recommendations on why and how best to keep these sources of clean energy operational. As UCS President, Ken Kimmel, wrote in a separate blog post about the report, “These sobering realities dictate that we keep an open mind about all of the tools in the emissions reduction toolbox—even ones that are not our personal favorites. And that includes existing nuclear power plants in the United States, which currently supply about 20 percent of our total electricity needs and more than half of our low-carbon electricity supply.”
US Nuclear Energy Foundation The US Nuclear Energy Foundation works to educate the nation about nuclear technology our need for the Yucca Mountain Repository, Renewable Energy, Advanced Reactors and Above Ground Storage. Their overall mission is to renew the image of the nuclear industry and rebrand it as clean, responsible and safe energy. The US NEF holds meetings regularly, provides presentations at a wide range of conferences, organizes expert tour groups to the Idaho National Laboratory, and maintains a website with a considerable amount of nuclear information for public review.
World Resources Institute WRI is a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries, with offices in the United States, China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and more. Our more than 700 experts and staff work closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action to sustain our natural resources—the foundation of economic opportunity and human well-being. Our work focuses on seven critical issues at the intersection of environment and development: climate, energy, food, forests, water, cities and the ocean.
More Pronuclear Organizations
There are, apparently, hundreds of organizations which support nuclear, and we are hearing about more organizations all the time. We are working to keep this page updated with a complete listing the environmental and non-profit organizations that support nuclear but in addition to many non-profits, there are also dozens of pronuclear industry organizations, international organizations, government agencies, universities and many other private and for-profit corporations and energy groups being brought to our attention. While we will not endeavor to list universities or corporations which research nuclear physics or which sell nuclear products or services, the following are some of the additional categories of advocacy groups that have learned about, which we endeavor to list for your information in their appropriate categories.
Americans for Nuclear Energy
Battelle Memorial Institute
Californians for Green Nuclear Power
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness
Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Energy Impact Center
Energy Reality Project
Energy Innovation Reform Project
Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research
Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP)
Global Nexus Initiative
The Grantham Institute for Climate Change
The Heritage Foundation
Nuclear Energy Caucus
Nuclear Friends Foundation
Nuclear for Climate
Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition
Partei der Humanisten (Germany)
Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy
Partnership for Global Security
Ren Energi Oplysning (Denmark)
TalkNuclear (Canadian Nuclear Association)
Saving our Planet (France, England, Norway)
Thorium Energy – Silicon Valley
Thorium Energy Alliance
Time to Go Nuclear
Voices for Nuclear (France)
World Resources Institute
Yes Vermont Yankee
National Mining Association
Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee
Nuclear Engineering Department Heads Organization
Pacific Nuclear Council
US Chamber of Commerce, Global Energy Institutes
Wyoming Mining Association
U.S. Department of Defense
U.S. Department of Energy
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
European Atomic Forum
Generation IV International Forum
Global Nexus Initiative
International Nuclear Societies Council
Members of the International Nuclear Society Council:
Asociacion Argentina de Tecnologia Nuclear (AATN)
Associação Brasileira de Energia Nuclear (ABEN)
Atomic Energy Society of Japan
Australian Nuclear Association (ANA)
Canadian Nuclear Society (CNS)
Egyptian Society of Nuclear Science and Applications (ESNSA)
European Nuclear Society (ENS)
Austrian Nuclear Society
Belgian Nuclear Society
Bulgarian Nuclear Society
Croatian Nuclear Society
Czech Nuclear Society
Finnish Nuclear Society
French Nuclear Energy Society
German Nuclear Society
Hungarian Nuclear Society
Israel Nuclear Society Italian Nuclear Association
Lithuanian Nuclear Energy Association
Netherlands Nuclear Society
The Nuclear Institute
Nuclear Society of Russia
Nuclear Society of Serbia
Nuclear Society of Slovenia
Polish Nuclear Society
Romanian Nuclear Energy Association
Slovak Nuclear Society
Spanish Nuclear Society
Swedish Nuclear Society
Swiss Nuclear Society
Indian Nuclear Society (InNS)
Israel Nuclear Society (INS)
Korean Nuclear Society (KNS)
Latin American Section (LAS)
Nuclear Energy Society Taipei (NEST)
Pakistan Nuclear Society (PNS)
Sociedad Nuclear Mexicana (SNM)
Nuclear Society of Thailand (NST)
World Association of Nuclear Operators
World Nuclear Association