New Scientist quotes research from Jessica Jewell on the future of nuclear power

Jessica Jewell's research on nuclear energy is quoted in this week's New Scientist. Her research, conducted as a Masters' thesis in the MESPOM program at the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, focuses on launching (or continuing to deploy) nuclear power in various nations. The title of the article "Dozens of Countries queue up to do nuclear" is slightly misleading since Jewell's research shows that most countries standing in this ominous queue lack capacity to start a nuclear power program.

Historically, peaceful nuclear energy has been successful in large and/or wealthy, politically stable economies. In contrast, many countries wishing to enter the nuclear club at present are small, poor and unstable. Nevertheless, there is a handful of nations which seem to have strong motivations and sufficient resources to go nuclear. These findings are published in two articles in Energy Policy: one focusing on over 50 countries wishing to start nuclear power programs, and one focusing on the 5 North African Countries.

This national-level resolution changes the question from the usual question of "how much nuclear is globally desirable?" to "what are the prospects of nuclear energy in country X?". The result is a nuanced picture of the future of nuclear energy where it probably plays a role in a handful of countries (most notably in Asia), is a policy choice in a few other countries (e.g. in Europe and the US), and is not even an option for the majority of world’s nations (e.g. in Africa) at present.