Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Nuclear energy - Use in some countries

Nuclear energy is definitely one of the best solutions for growing energy needs of the modern world. Nuclear energy is much more abundant energy source than fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) and unlike them presents clean and safe method to produce electricity. Yes nuclear energy is safe energy source and new Chernobyl is almost impossible to happen again considering the safety measures in modern nuclear power plants. Chernobyl happened due to some really bad mistakes (bad reactor design and inexperienced crew) and the majority of experts believe Chernobyl is one time only accident.

Safety of nuclear reactors significantly increased with third generation and forth generation is expected to have even more enhanced safety. Click on picture for full size.

Nuclear energy is also clean energy source from the ecological point of view because it emits no harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The only real problem regarding nuclear energy is the nuclear waste although as some experts say this problem is less significant than for instance of waste that is produced by coal, or the by the silt that builds up behind dams.

Nuclear power plants' safety especially increased thanks to third generation reactors which have significantly reduced the possibility of a core meltdown accident and soon fourth generation will be also making its entrance, ensuring even higher security levels. Nuclear energy is ecologically even more acceptable than hydropower because hydroelectric dams have negative impact on nearby ecosystems they alter.

Nuclear power is used in many countries of the modern world and France here convincingly leads the way with 77 % of its electricity generated in nuclear power plants. More than 30 countries in the world use nuclear power plants for generating necessary electricity and lots of nuclear power plants is being built, especially in Asia where countries like China and India are under the constant need of new energy sources because of large demands of their sudden economic growth and nuclear energy is one of the best, if not the best solution to satisfy increasing energy needs. Just for example, one pound of uranium produces 20,000 times more energy than one pound of coal which means that nuclear energy is also very competitive energy source despite the fact that nuclear power plants have high initial building costs because operational costs are relatively inexpensive.

This picture clearly shows dominant number of nuclear power plants in France. France gets 77% of its electricity from nuclear power plants. Click on picture for full size.

Nuclear energy could be also the right solution for poor countries and their economic growth, of course with the slight push of rich countries in the form of financial aid and necessary technology. Of course, maximum safety measures must be always on in nuclear power plants and therefore experienced and well trained crew is much needed which could be the only real problem in these countries considering their general economic infrastructure and conditions they live in.

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