The World Energy Need And Nuclear Power

The World Energy Need And Nuclear Power

The World Energy Need And Nuclear Power - Uranium Energy

Nuclear power is clean, safe, and in most cases cost-effective. One of the main advantages ofnuclear poweroverfossil fuelsis that all of the wastes are contained and managed.Nuclear power plantsdo not cause any pollution. Another benefit is the fuel is virtually unlimited; it is as plentiful as tin. With improving technologies, the new Fast Breeder Reactors will be able to extract 60 times more energy from the uranium as we do today. Right now Nuclear energy supplies 15% of the world's energy needs from 400 reactors in 31 countries. They are very expensive to build, but they are very cheap to run. The cost of the fuel is a very small percentage of the overall cost associated with power generation, so unlike conventional power stations, the fluctuating cost of uranium will not have much of an impact on the overall cost of the power generation. When you start to factor in the rising cost of fossil fuels and the CO2 taxes that many governments are starting to impose, nuclear energy becomes a very viable option for large-scale, continuous, load-based power. As for radiation - it is a natural part of our environment, and at low levels, like those from a nuclear power plant, is quite harmless. Lastly, no nuclear material from the civil nuclear cycle has ever been diverted to make weapons. As a matter of fact, today many military warheads are brought in to the fuel cycle, and one-tenth of the electricity generated in the US comes from Russian nuclear warheads.

In the next 20 years the population of earth will rise 1.6 billion people to 8.2 billion. In the coming years the world is going to need large quantities of clean-generated electricity, and nuclear energy is the most environmentally-benign way of producing large-scale electricity. The demand for electricity is increasing twice as fast as all other forms of energy, and by 2030 it is expected to rise 76% from today.

TheInternational Atomic Energy Agencyestimates the growth ofNuclear energyto be 4 times its present rate in the next 40 years. It is expected to go from the present 376 GWE up to 1415 GWE. To achieve this there is going to have to be a significant investment of about $4000 billion in nuclear power, with $893 billion in China and some $883 billion in Canada and the US. Cameco expects 97 new reactors to be built worldwide, with 9 in the US by 2030.

Renewable energysuch aswind,solar,tidal,hydro,geothermalandbiomass, are unsuitable in most cases for large-scale power generation where baseload, continuous, and reliable supply is needed. The reasons for this are that these forms of energy generation are intermittent in nature and their economic attractiveness is most appealing when small-scale generation is needed.

Every aspect of the nuclear fuel cycle is highly regulated and controlled to reduce the environmental impact of each stage. Globally,nuclear power generationreduces CO2 emissions by 2.5 billion pounds per year, and experts estimate that non-carbon-emitting electricity must rise from the present 34% of total power generation to 48-53% by 2030 to curb global warming. Every 26 tons ofU3O8 (Uranium Ore Concentrate , Yellow Cake)saves 1 million tons of CO2 relative to coal. With those kinds of numbers,nuclear powermust play a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The vulnerability of oil and gas supplies are to disruptions, and with the local abundance of naturally occurring uranium,nuclear powergeneration is becoming more attractive from a security standpoint.

Nuclear power is not the only industry which relies on the transport of radioactive materials. In fact, the vast majority of transports - around 95% - are not fuel cycle related. Radioactive materials are used extensively in medicine, agriculture, research, manufacturing, nondestructive testing, and in the exploration of minerals. All of these industries are becoming increasingly global in terms both of products and services. Safe and secure national and international transport of radioactive materials by all modes of transport is essential to support them.

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