The Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan showed that the even with modern safety precautions, nuclear plants can still spin out of control.
Uranium mining pollutes groundwater. Building new plants costs a fortune. We now have many more green energy options than they did in the s.
Wind and solar are getting cheaper every year. If we still need nuclear plants as a stopgap to moving away from fossil fuels, fine.
How nuclear power will drive our energy future
But overall, atomic power no longer feels like the future. Instead it feels like the past. Adobe Stock.
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Share to Facebook. Think of nuclear power and you may imagine the worst — atomic bombs, reactors melting down and radioactive waste. Nuclear reactors generate energy day and night, and produce no greenhouse gasses.
Future of nuclear energy -- ScienceDaily
Still, the growth of nuclear is slowing in comparison to other low-carbon sources like wind and solar. That's because nuclear power plants are expensive to build, construction often takes longer than expected and public opposition is strong.
For nuclear power to be effective in the future, one key lies in upgrading technology, designing safer and more efficient fission reactors with the support of philanthropists like Bill Gates. Government labs, private investors, and intergovernmental organizations are also devoting vast resources to what many consider the holy grail of energy — nuclear fusion.
Fusion is the process that powers our sun and every other star in the universe. Another suggestion from the study is that the government support development and demonstration of new nuclear technologies through the use of four "levers": funding to share regulatory licensing costs; funding to share research and development costs; funding for the achievement of specific technical milestones; and funding for production credits to reward successful demonstration of new designs. The study includes an examination of the current nuclear regulatory climate, both in the United States and internationally.
While the authors note that significant social, political, and cultural differences may exist among many of the countries in the nuclear energy community, they say that the fundamental basis for assessing the safety of nuclear reactor programs is fairly uniform, and should be reflected in a series of basic aligned regulatory principles.
The future of nuclear energy
They recommend regulatory requirements for advanced reactors be coordinated and aligned internationally to enable international deployment of commercial reactor designs, and to standardize and ensure a high level of safety worldwide. The study concludes with an emphasis on the urgent need for both cost-cutting advancements and forward-thinking policymaking to make the future of nuclear energy a reality.
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ScienceDaily, 7 September MIT Energy Initiative. Future of nuclear energy.
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