New Renaissance for nuclear energy
Physics Today reports remarkable investments in nuclear energy
around the world.
According to the paper more than twenty power plants are scheduled
to be built or refurbished during the next five years in Canada,
China, several European Union countries, India, Iran, Pakistan,
Russia, and South Africa. British an US governments are preparing
new energy politics that may lead to 15 new reactor orders by 2007.
IEA report claims new investments are necessary to maintain nuclear
power's position in the overall energy mix. Nearly 80% of the 441
commercial nuclear reactors around the world are more than 15 years
old. About 16% of the world's electricity supply is produced in
According to Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists EU
Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs the primary reasons for increased
interest towards nuclear power are rising form attempts to reduce
carbon-dioxide emissions and concerns about energy security, particularly
in light of the recent disruption of Russian gas supplies in Europe.
Most of the new reactors planned to be built are third-generation
pressurized-water reactors (PWR). Chinese, French, South African
companies are looking to build a fourth-generation design called
a gas-pebble-bed reactor (PBMR). The new reactors are supposed to
be inexpensive to build, more powerful, and safer; and they can
be operated for up to 60 years.
more in Physics Today online.