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UK nuclear and fossil fuel energy infrastructure climate risk

Lookup NU author(s): Edward Byers, Professor Jaime Amezaga



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


The energy sector’s importance as critical national infrastructure means that the sector has been long prepared for disruptions, of which weather-related disruptions are generally well understood. Climate change means changing mean operating conditions, new and more frequent extremes and changing risk profiles. These changes have the potential to disrupt operations, while others may have long-term effects on the performance of infrastructure. This paper reviews the current knowledge base surrounding climate impacts on the infrastructure and operations of the nuclear, coal, oil and gas subsectors. We also present assessment of ‘confidence in the science’. The risks identified within the Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) were comprehensive; however, we note areas in need of further investigation. Risks to upstream oil and gas are not covered in detail, and risks to new energy systems, in particular carbon capture and storage and unconventional fossil fuels, are not covered at all. Their detailed consideration in the next CCRA is recommended, alongside more systems approaches to risk assessment of the UK energy system.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Byers EA, Amezaga JM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Infrastructure Asset Management

Year: 2015

Volume: 2

Issue: 3

Pages: 120-130

Print publication date: 01/07/2015

Online publication date: 31/07/2015

Acceptance date: 23/06/2015

Date deposited: 04/09/2015

ISSN (print): 2053-0242

ISSN (electronic): 2053-0250

Publisher: ICE Publishing


DOI: 10.1680/iasma.14.00031


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