Can going nuclear combat climate change?

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To mitigate climate change, the proportion of low-carbon electricity generation must increase from today's 36% to 85% by 2040, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says. IEA and other advocates argue that nuclear power could help fill this gap. However, barriers to a nuclear energy renaissance include safety concerns, aging reactors and high costs for new ones, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

Globally, 's contribution to has dropped from a peak of about 18% in the mid-1990s to 10% today, according to IEA. Without worldwide government intervention, the downward spiral will likely continue, the agency predicts. Like other low-carbon electricity sources, such as hydropower, solar and wind, nuclear reactors can generate energy with low greenhouse gas emissions. However, several hurdles must be overcome before nuclear power can reverse its decline, freelance contributor Jeff Johnson writes.

Many of the nuclear reactors in the U.S., the European Union and Russia are more than 35 years old, approaching their designed lifetimes of 40 years. Building new plants requires lots of money and long construction times, making it difficult for the technology to compete against cheaper energy sources, such as natural gas, wind and solar. Currently, the potential for nuclear expansion is greatest in developing nations with state-controlled economies, including China, India and Russia. Repairing existing reactors is expensive and raises safety concerns, although IEA claims that the process would be comparably priced and involve fewer delays than siting and building a new solar field or wind farm. Ultimately, the future of nuclear power will depend on whether the efficiencies of competing low-carbon technologies can improve to meet the world's growing energy needs in a sustainable way, Johnson writes.


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More information: "Can Nuclear Power Help Save Us from Climate Change?," cen.acs.org/energy/nuclear-pow … -help-save-us/97/i37
Citation: Can going nuclear combat climate change? (2019, September 25) retrieved 15 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-09-nuclear-combat-climate.html
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Sep 25, 2019
BAN PLUTONIUM!

The IEA are a pack of bottom of the bell curve MORONS that don't even understand the REALITY we live in, let alone the MATH!.

BAN THE IEA!

Sep 27, 2019
72% of global GHG comes from energy production (wri.org). While renewables are worth building and improving, they simply cannot form the backbone of any electrical grid. They are too intermittent (solar & wind), or too limited by geography (tidal or hydro), and battery tech is too immature and costly to use as an effective backup.

We need Nuclear power to form the base of a post-carbon electrical system. While it is costly currently, new reactor plans are being finalized that are significantly less expensive, quicker to build, and safer. And there is enough Uranium in Canada to supply the west's needs for centuries, safely and ethically extracted.

If we can refine reactors sufficiently we can smash every GHG reduction target proposed in virtually one (admittedly enormous) move.

Sep 28, 2019
FFS , what is the CRITICAL MASS of plutonium on EARTH ?????????????????????

1000 Metric tons ?, 2000 Tons ?

ARE YOU SERIOUSLY TELLING ME THAT MAKING MORE PLUTONIUM IS A VIABLE FUTURE FOR ENERGY PRODUCTION ON EARTH ????

OR IS IT INEXORABLY TAKING US TO CRITICAL MASS OBLIVION ?
IT'S NOT LIKE YOU CAN MOVE THAT SHIT AFTER YOU HIT THE LIMIT YOU F***ING MORONS!

Sep 28, 2019
I don't see that China has any other good choices. And it's not like they're going to get any technology or ability from building and operating nuclear plants that they don't already have. They'll build out wind and tidal and solar as fast as they can, but the first thing is to get rid of those coal plants.

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