Nuclear power could be key to climate change challenge
- Jan 28, 2022 7:17 am GMT
A chapel is seen in front of the cooling towers of the Czech nuclear power plant at Dukovany, 200 kms east of
The world has had an uncomfortable relationship with nuclear power from the very beginning, when early work on nuclear fission became part of the US-led effort to build the first atomic weapons, subsequently used against
The peaceful civilian nuclear industry — through which the world could generate all the energy it needed by using the power of the atom — could never quite shake off those sinister origins.
Since then, accidents in places like
But now, under pressure from the race against climate change and new technological advances in the nuclear sector, sentiment is perceptibly changing. Some countries — like
But economic and environmental arguments are now winning the day.
Saudi Arabia’s thinking on nuclear power has crystalized just as many energy experts are won over to its potential.
That was given a boost by the Vision 2030 strategy for diversification, which put renewables at the heart of national policymaking, and received a further stimulus last year, when the Saudi Green Initiative was launched.
The Kingdom’s thinking on nuclear power has crystalized just as many energy experts are won over to its potential to satisfy future energy needs.
The message is: If the net-zero targets are to be met, at least some of the global energy mix will have to come from nuclear, which is the ultimate net-zero fuel source.
There will be public objections to overcome, with that history of tragic accidents leaving a deep footprint. But the technology behind the building and operation of nuclear power plants has advanced dramatically, reducing costs, waste and safety concerns.
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Furthermore, modern nuclear reactors are increasingly different from the archetypal domed monstrosities seen in the movies. Small modular reactors can be mass-produced in parts and assembled on site in a kind of
With the climate change clock ticking, nuclear power’s time is coming.
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