Essay on Nuclear Power Should Generate an Increasing Proportion of Global Electricity in the Coming Decades

Submitted By maomaojj2013
Words: 2496
Pages: 10

Nuclear Power Should Generate an Increasing Proportion of Global Electricity in the Coming Decades
Recently, ‘nuclear renaissance’ is broadly used to represents the development, expansion and prospers of nuclear power. As it has already been highlighted in vast numbers of scientific paper that nuclear power could obviously be an excellent substitution of fossil fuel power. With comparison to traditional energy and renewable energy, advantages of nuclear power could be briefly summarized as follows.
1. Stable Power Output which Unconstrained by Environments and Weathers (e.g. sunshine, wind strength, mass of flow)
2. High Power Density
3. Generate On-demand, no Requirement for Electricity Storage, Low Power Transmission Line Losses.
4. Low Green-house Gases Generation
5. Low Air Pollution

If safety issues are solved, with all accidental scenarios being taken into consideration in plant design stage, nuclear power is simply invincible among all the power generation method. There is an old-fashion motto: Practice make perfect. The safety systems of nuclear power plant are being improved. Long operation time is required for the development. In summary, more nuclear power plant should be built in the future, for two purposes: power generation and system robustness assessment. This is the only way to improve the safety performance of nuclear power plant. If we do not wish to leave this marvelous power generation technology, we should build new plant right now, in the coming decades.
However, presently, panic to nuclear power of general public is inevitable. The issues raised by Prof. Sovacool could be regarded as the main concentration of general public. [1] They would be listed in three categories: technical, economical, environmental and sociopolitical. Meanwhile, confession and solutions will be provided.

Technical Issues:
First of all, hundreds of incidents and accidents have taken place due to human negligence. Impacts and effects of those incidents are severe and catastrophic although the frequency of accident is low. [2] It is true that there are significant nuclear power plant accidents since the first nuclear power plant had been established. However, this should be the reason for slowing down or stopping the development of nuclear power because it was the accidents that assisted improvements the safety system of nuclear power plant. By reviewing those accidents and conducting further studies (e.g. simulations), the safety system of nuclear power plant could be improved steadily.

Secondly, nuclear renaissance could be impeded by shortage of critical instrumental bits in reactors and experienced workers to operate reactors. It is hard to deny that only a few countries own the technology to build critical components. [3] Nevertheless, the technology as well as material, is tradable. As the average of level of education in developing countries is rising, more and more people would have capability to study and hence cope with the work in nuclear reactor.
Thirdly, low energy payback ratio is caused by energy intensity of the fuel cycle and rejecting reservation of high quality uranium. In other words, a plant can not generate net energy before decades of operation. [4] This is based on a wrong assumption and is an unlikely scenario which would be discussed later in ‘environmental issues.’
Economical issues
He started with pointing out that the long construction period might have potential risk of increased costs beyond budget and high operating costs. He also mentioned that a great amount of money would be cost for nuclear fuel reprocessing and potential hazard lies in the accessible plutonium. In addition, he shows that the waste storage cost could be as high as hundreds of million dollars each year for on-site storage and even much more for building permanent storage containers. [5]
The budget control could be achieved by good project management strategy. For the spent fuel processing, fast…