Nuclear energy's share of the global electricity grid could drop to 6.2% over the next four decades, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency's Department of Nuclear Energy. This would lead to higher fossil fuel prices and raise carbon dioxide emissions, said Hans Holger Rogner, head of the IAEA's planning and economic studies unit. "Nuclear is not going to go away just because of Fukushima, but better performance of alternatives is going to play a role" in the choice of power-production technologies, he said.

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