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Nuclear power's complexities emerge in the age of climate change

The picture is complicated by safety and environmental concerns and IAEA's dual roles as watchdog and promoter.

Switzerland's Gösgen Nuclear Power Plant (AN/J. Heilprin)

VIENNA (AN) — The U.N.'s atomic watchdog agency released two reports this month that capture nuclear power's incongruity. Its economic appeal is uncertain, but it has relative advantages in fighting climate change.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported earlier this month that the nuclear industry could have a shrinking role as an electricity provider due to its "reduced competitiveness." Nuclear power produced just 10% of the world’s electricity in 2017, and will likely decline further with the closure of aging plants that can't compete with lower-cost energy sources.

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