Until such time as storage technologies allow a 100% renewable electricity system based on, should nuclear energy be considered part of a low-emission mix? Or are there preferable alternatives?
Yes, nuclear can be part of a low emissions generation mix, as its marginal costs are very low. Furthermore, nuclear is unlikely to slow down the deployment of renewables. With the intermittent nature of electricity generation from wind and solar, flexible sources of electricity can provide stability (such as hydro, combined cycle, demand management, etc.) while energy storage systems will absorb specific excesses (such as hydraulics, batteries, etc.).
Therefore, the question becomes, how long will nuclear power plants continue in operation? If the cost of combining storage with solar/wind continues to fall, we will achieve baseload market prices where nuclear power will not longer be profitable … And it would not be the first time that early closures occurred for economic reasons in Spain: that happened to fuel plants and, more recently, coal.
When the quarantine ends, the world and the way people think will no longer be the same. I believe that we will have to put all the necessary resources to advance in the development of storage and hybridization systems to support the unstoppable development of the different renewable technologies, facilitating the flexible management of the system.