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“Should nuclear power be part of the mix?”
Posted by: Phil Green on 18 October 2010
The government just announced it has earmarked 8 new sites for the development of nuclear power.
I agree that our future energy needs can't be met with renewables alone, so yes there should be a mix, but I do worry that the current government will rely too heavily on nuclear power, discounting other credible and sustainable sources of energy such as tidal power.
Disadvantages of nuclear power:
* Although not much waste is produced, it is very, very dangerous. It must be sealed up and buried for many thousands of years to allow the radioactivity to die away. For all that time it must be kept safe from earthquakes, flooding, terrorists and everything else. This is difficult.
* Nuclear power is reliable, but a lot of money has to be spent on safety - if it does go wrong, a nuclear accident can be a major disaster.
* It's not renewable, once we've dug up all the Earth's uranium and used it,
there isn't any more.
Of course there are advantages, and that's why the government is now backing nuclear....but we have to ask....at what cost? Are we prepared to bear the cost of nuclear waste and potential nuclear disasters?
Here are the advantages:
* Nuclear power costs about the same as coal, so it's not expensive to make.
* Does not produce smoke or carbon dioxide, so it does not contribute to the greenhouse effect.
* Produces huge amounts of energy from small amounts of fuel and it's reliable.
Let me know what you think!