This report on nuclear energy and the environment is jointly released by the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Technologies of France and the French Academy of sciences. It is a second collaborative study of the three academies on nuclear energy matters.
The first report, issued in August 2017, covered many aspects of nuclear energy and offered joint, mostly technical, recommendations for the direction of nuclear energy in the future. It was an attempt to provide an objective overview of many scientific and technological issues on nuclear energy (its position in the future energy mix, benefits, strengths and weak points, research and development perspectives, technology and safety, engineering etc.), as well as societal issues (education, training, risk perception, public awareness etc.). But it was admittedly far from being exhaustive.
Environmental issues were not considered in sufficient depth in the previous report despite their being crucial for the future of this industry, and the Academies felt it necessary to pursue their cooperation and further address these important issues. They decided to focus the joint effort on the environmental impacts of nuclear energy in normal and accidental situations, including waste and provide a comprehensive analysis of these issues which are essentially similar in France and China. However, the economics of energy production, which also constitutes an important factor for the future, is determined by local and regional conditions, which are fairly different between these two countries, and it was deliberately decided not to address this issue in this joint study.