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Can nuclear power deliver? April 24, 2006

Posted by Hans De Keulenaer in nuclear, technology.

'Can Nuclear Power Deliver?' has been based on literature review and expert interviews, and provides an overview of arguments in the nuclear debate:

Nuclear peril
  • Waste: technical solutions exist, but lack of a political agreement
  • Proliferation: can and needs to be managed
  • Nuclear safety: an issue for older nuclear plants, but promising 'passive safety' designs for new reactors
The nuclear promise
  • The power of the atom: a fistful of matter holding enough energy to power a city of a million for a year
  • Climate change mitigation: each major nuclear power station saves 6 million tonne of greenhouse gasses per year compared to fossil-based electricity generation
  • Energy security: abundant energy supply when using advanced reprocessing and fast neutron reactors
From peril to promise
  • Public opinion – taken hostage by extremes
  • Technology: extremely complex scientific & technical challenges need global cooperation and a 'man on the moon' momentum

Nuclear technology needs to address its problems, and holds tremendous promise if it does. The 'nuclear option' does not represent a single option, but offers many choices on building additional reactors, a moratorium ( no new reactors), phaseout (reduce existing reactors), reactor types, waste processing and R&D expenditure.

When excluding all nuclear options, a plan is needed how to build an energy system without it. The fact that we yet have to see such a (transparent) plan may relate to the fact that the numbers simply do not add up without the use of nuclear energy.

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