Keywords: world energy demand, nuclear energy, innovation technologies, closed nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear power, Russia, global energy demand, mathematical modelling, energy mix
The global energy challenges of the 21st century and the potential Russian contribution to world and regional nuclear power
The paper considers the world energy demand until the middle of the 21st century, as well as the possible solutions for this challenge. On the basis of the mathematical model developed at the Kurchatov Institute in 2003-2005, the vision of the global nuclear energy system and its potential contribution to the energy mix was analysed. The energy mix picture by mid-century would contain an 'unsatisfied demand' area (i.e., resources that should be used to meet the projected energy demand). Thus, the global energy challenges of the 21st century energy supply do not impose any upper limit on nuclear energy development, the scale of which would be determined by development opportunities. The key nuclear energy requirements, including the fuel supply, the need for innovative technologies and the extension of application spheres, are determined by the scale of its use. Being one of the founders of the First Nuclear Era, Russia has a unique experience in solving the key nuclear energy problems of the 20th century and is capable of making a worthy contribution to the challenges faced in the 21st century.