Energy Mar 1, 2021 4:08 PM
Macrowise Director Guillermo Valencia spoke about nuclear energy and its potential as an energy source.
Valencia said that everyone knows the horrors that nuclear energy produces when it is used for war. The expert said that the consequences it generates in the environment are also well known.
“However, new technologies have created safer and more efficient nuclear reactors,” Valencia said.
He highlighted that the pandemic made it clear that the world needs energy, not oil.
“This energy will come from clean energies linked to nuclear reactors,” Valencia said.
The expert said that nuclear reactors generate zero greenhouse gas emissions, making it possible to meet environmental goals without reducing energy capacity.
“There is a new technology based on small modular reactors, which allows energy to be handled at a lower cost. These will be vital for countries like China, which seeks to guarantee its economic growth without relying on polluting sources,” Valencia said.
He said that nuclear energy is not affected by climatic phenomena, since a reactor can work without requiring a fuel change for months or years.
“Furthermore, these facilities can operate in extreme climates, such as the North Pole, and even NASA has suggested them as a possible energy source in space,” Valencia said.
However, Valencia acknowledged that final disposal of nuclear waste is one of the main concerns.
“There is not yet a process that allows the total reuse of this waste or its safe storage, since it can remain radioactive for more than 500 years,” Valencia said.
Bottom-Line: The environmental movement goes back and forth on nuclear as a ‘clean’ energy mostly because of the waste issue and because it is not, technically, renewable.
Part of the problem is that using nuclear power is like flying in an airplane. The statistics say it is perfectly safe but there are no minor plane crashes and there are no minor nuclear accidents.
The memories of Three-Mile Island, Fukushima and especially Chernobyl mean that this ‘clean’ power is not perceived as a ‘green’ power.