The Future of Nuclear Power
Nuclear generation provides about 17% of world
electricity, avoiding the emission of up to 2.3 billion tonnes of carbon
dioxide annually. This represents nearly one-third of the CO2 emitted from
electricity generation. It is thus essential that nuclear
generating capacity is maintained if emissions from power generation
are to be successfully limited over the next 10 to 15 years and beyond.
In the longer term, without continued large-scale nuclear programs
many countries will find it impossible to meet future electricity demand
while complying with the proposed limits on carbon dioxide emissions. Nuclear
power is the only fully developed non-fossil electricity generating option
with the potential for large-scale expansion. A continued steady growth
power could cut energy-related CO2 emissions substantially over the
coming decades if it were used to avoid increases in fossil fuel burning.
Nuclear power therefore deserves full consideration as one means of curbing
to pursue a nuclear power program is a decision for each country
to take in the light of its own energy circumstances. Where nuclear power
is adopted, however, it should be recognised as a component of a national
strategy to reduce CO2 emissions. The nuclear industry will continue to
work with governments, other industries and environmental organizations
to ensure that the maximum use is made of this clean source of electricity.
The future of resources for nuclear energy is promising. It
is estimated that the supply of Uranium is 2.4 million tons. 3700 tons
of Uranium are used to operate energy production at the current levels.
According to calculations, all of the earths Uranium will last 650 years,
whereas coal will last only 107 years. Nuclear power is the cheapest per
kilowatt hour, however, the cost of building and mantaining a plant is
great, and most plants have a lifespan of 30 years, after which, they become
decommissioned. It is clear that the overall goal is to achieve meaningful
reductions in future levels of carbon dioxide emissions.