Nuclear Energy: Does The World Need It?

Nuclear energy risk management is only a small part of the Energy Risk Professional (ERP) curriculum, but I believe this area of expertise will gain in importance over the next decade. A conversation starter is this TED Debate about the usefulness of nuclear energy: Pros and cons are presented as an overview, and renewable energy is also briefly touched upon. Watch it critically and assess the arguments as a repetition of your study about nuclear energy.

Summary points “Pro nuclear”:

  • The waste generated by a nuclear plant for a lifetime of electricity for one person goes into one Coke can.
  • Many countries are already maxed out on wind, solar and water energy.
  • Nuclear energy is used as a disarmament tool for warheads in Russia and the US.
  • There are not enough renewable energy sources to provide enough electricity.

Summary points “Anti nuclear”:

  • CO2 emissions from nuclear are much larger than admitted by the industry, especially when compared to renewables.
  • Nuclear energy is a reason for nuclear weapons proliferation in developing economies.
  • Footprint of wind energy on the ground is the smallest, while nuclear is the largest (including safety perimeter).
  • There is plenty of renewable energy available today to replace nuclear power plants.

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  1. Nuclear Fusion With Helium-3