Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Future of Nuclear Power in Sustainable Development Essay Example for Free
Future of Nuclear Power in Sustainable Development Essay With the population increase and economic growth, energy is becoming an essential part for development. To some extent, in any development process, reliable access to modern energy services is needed. However, the world is facing the energy imbalance: that of energy generation have consequences for the environment so meeting this growth in demand while safeguarding the environment poses a growing challenge. To date, the use of nuclear power has been concentrated in industrialized countries, which might play in filling the growing gap between what the world wants to consume in terms of energy and what the environment tells us we can sustain is considered. 1Ã£â¬ Development of Neural Power In the last few years, the nuclear power is mainly used in the industrialized countries. More and more countries pay their attention to the introduction of nuclear power programs, such as Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, etc, not limited to Asia. Also, other countries such as Argentina, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, and South Africa are working to expand their works. As is shown by statistics, of the worlds 439 currently operating nuclear power reactors, 403 (or 91%) are in either OECD countries or countries with economics in transition . In terms of electrical generating capacity, 349 GWCe) out of 368 GWCe) , or 95% of nuclear generating capacity is installed in these countries. At present, nuclear power is a proven technology which has provided more than 16% of world electricity supply . In the future of nuclear power, many different views are raised on its sustainable development, particularly to innovative reactors and fuel cycles . There are a number of significant environmental benefits arising from the use of nuclear power, but it does raise its own environmental issues. During the operation, some radioactivity is released at a very low level into the environment either via filtered emissions to the atmosphere or in liquid form in the cooling water discharged to sea. Thus, on one hand, nuclear power is a hazardous energy and should be phased out. On the other hand, the nuclear power can be sustainably used. Comparing with the fossil-based energy, nuclear power does not emit CO2 and other hazardous emissions, which the impact of the nuclear power chains on the health and environment is less negative than those for fossil-based energy. Currently, Europe, North America and some countries in Asia have been enjoying the advantages of nuclear power. 2Ã£â¬ Status of Neural Power To date, the use of nuclear power is increasing. In terms of new construction, however , the pattern is different, 16 of the 30 reactors now being built are in developing countries and most of the recent expansion has been centered in Asia China, for example, currently has four reactors under construction, and plans a more than five- fold expansion in its nuclear generating capacity over the next 15 years. India has seven reactors under construction, and plans roughly a seven-fold increase in capacity by 2022. Japan, Pakistan and the Republic of Korea also have plans to expand their nuclear power capacity [4,5]. In the near future, additional countries in the Asia-Pacific region will choose the nuclear power option. Vietnam intends to begin construction of its first nuclear power plant in 2015. Indonesia plans to build two 1000 MW reactors in central Javaa. Recently, the Energy Generating Authority of Thailand announced plans to build two large nuclear plants, with construction to be gin in 2015. In Malaysia, a comprehensive energy policy study Ã¢â¬â including consideration of nuclear power- is to be completed by 2010 . The resurgence of interest in nuclear power [7-9] is not limited to Asia. Other countries such as Jordan and Turkey are seriously considering or planning for the introduction of nuclear power programs. And many others, such as Aragentina, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan and South Africa, are working to expand existing programs. In the USA, where no new reactors has been ordered in 28 years, these trends, plus excellent performance of the existing nuclear fleet and financial incentives in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, have led to a race to develop new nuclear power plants. Twenty countries now have new plants either under construction or under development with well over half of these new nuclear plants likely to be built over the next two decades in five countries- China, India, South Korea, Japan and USA. Also, in the USA, several dozen reactors are in various stages of proposal development, while international nuclear vendors and service providers are forming new alliances. Finally, rising uranium prices have led to development of new mines. 3Ã£â¬ Rising Interest of Neural Power Any negative impact on the population health and environment is unacceptable. Once it happens, it will be phased out. The negative consequences for nuclear power would be the same. If it is not possible or too expensive to improve sufficiently their safety, we must insist on their closing. The international conventions for nuclear safety were carried out, which legally enhance nuclear safety. Also, the IAEA updated the safety standards for reflecting the best industry practices . Importantly, both the IAEA and the world Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) , created international networks to conduct peer reviews and exchange operating information to improve safety performance. Another important factor is the strong performance of nuclear power that drives the renewed interest in nuclear power. Up to date, with more than half a century of operating experience, nuclear power is becoming a mature technology. In the past two decades, more and more significant improvements are made in nuclear power plant reliability, as well as lower operating costs and a progressively improved safety record. 4Ã£â¬ Problems of Nuclear Power a) Management of radwaste Annually, the spent nuclear fuel produced is about 10,000 tons, which is small when compared with the nearly 28 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) waste from fossil fuels [11, 12]. In addition, the radwaste is most concerned point in public. Based on the expert experiences, the reasonable geological disposal of high level radioactive waste is safe and feasible. But for public, it is likely remain skeptical, which the nuclear waste disposal will likely remain controversial. The emphasis in the problem of radwastes should be in obtaining the support of people. On one hand, we should provide true information on comparative assessment of different energy sources. We should provide a clear report that there is no risk for the population health and environment from radwaste repositories. On the other hand, as soon as possible the countries with suitable places for repositories should license them and start the disposal process. Moreover, cooperation will be effective to share the burden of the waste disposal cost for countries with small nuclear power programs. b) Technological innovation If we want to develop the new reactor or fuel cycle technologies, technological innovation is needed. Currently, the nuclear Research and Development (RD) projects are focused on enhancing nuclear safety, reducing proliferation risks, minimizing waste generation and improving economic performance . In particularly, many developing countries, such as some countries in Asia, have been devoted to develop small and medium size reactor designs. These designs allow a more incremental investment than is required for a large reactor, and provide a better match to grid capacity in many developing countries. To some extent, these reactors are more adapted in applications . c) Nuclear non- proliferation With the increasing expectations for nuclear power, there are concerns regarding the spread of nuclear weapons and sensitive nuclear technology. However, at the same time, the nuclear proliferation should be prevented. Now, a safeguard system has been established to guarantee the peaceful application of nuclear technology. An integrated system of safeguards can and should permit effective control of non-proliferation by a combination of technical measures and the extension of institutional measures . It would occur in two steps. The first step would create a mechanism for the assurance of supply of nuclear fuel, possibly including fuel bank to be managed by the IAEA. For countries that use nuclear fuel for electricity generation, this mechanism would severe as a supplier of last resort, thereby removing the risk of having their fuel supply interrupted for non- commercial reasons. The second step would seek to bring any new operations for uranium enrichment and plutonium separation under multinational control. These multinational controls should also be extended to facilities that already exist- to ensure that all countries are treated equally in terms of their nuclear capabilities. d) Economic cost Although cost is perhaps not a major factor affecting plans for nuclear power in most areas of the world, in the United States, which has the worlds largest nuclear program and sufficient growth in electricity demand to support substantial growth in generating capacity, the cost of electricity has been the dominant factor in determining what type of capacity gets built . As the United States has moved to reduce the economic regulation of electricity generation, cost has become a competitive focus, and Ã¢â¬Å"capital cost is the single most important factor determining the economic competitiveness of nuclear energyÃ¢â¬ (University of Chicago, 2004, p. xi). In 2009 the U.S. National Academies published a large study of energy technologies. After reviewing many previous studies, the authors noted that Ã¢â¬Å"cost estimates in the open literature have varied by more than a factor of two. Recent estimates have ranged from $2400/kW to as much as $6000/kWÃ¢â¬ (Committee on Americas Energy Future, 2009, p. 526). These are cost estimates for the United States. High costs are seen in the much-delayed new Finnish reactor, discussed further below. Until new plants are built in the United States, costs will remain a major uncertainty and an obstacle to growth of the industry. e) Public opinion Dana Mead, chairman of the MIT governing body, commented that Ã¢â¬Å"Nuclear power generates the most varied public opinion of any power generation type. According to MIT studies, 39% of those polled feel it should be reduced, 35% feel in should be increased and 11% dont believe it should be used at all Ã¢â¬â the highest fraction of people who are opposed to any type of generationÃ¢â¬ (remarks at the American Nuclear Society Annual Meeting, as quoted in Power Engineering, August 2007). In addition to proliferation and economic cost, the main controversies regarding nuclear power are whether the public will accept new nuclear plants, whether sites can be found where the public will accept a geological repository for their spent fuel, and whether future development should be based on the once-through or the closed fuel cycle . Bringing the public into decision processes early will substantially improve the climate for nuclear power to go forward. (In the United States, the la w requires that the federal agencies make the final decisions.) 5Ã£â¬ Future of Nuclear Power While there are still uncertainties ahead, it seems quite likely at this point that, in the near-term, new nuclear power plants will be built, both in countries that already have substantial nuclear programs and in new countries. Thus, the number of countries with nuclear power plants will increase, and since some of these countries have small grids and limited infrastructures, it is likely that smaller reactors will be used to meet some of these needs [18, 19]. In the near-term, nuclear power growth will likely be met by existing technologies and those technologies for which substantial development has already occurred. Nuclear power development will not be the only source of power to meet growing energy demands and growing concerns about global warming. The near term is also likely to see the development and deployment of more renewable power of current or evolutionary design, and possibly of clean coal technology. Other options, such as increased conservation and the deployment of more energy efficient end-use technologies, will also be exploited. In the longer term, more advanced nuclear power plants, such as the Generation IV power plants, will likely be deployed. These will be able to meet a more diverse range of energy needs than the current generation of large, centralized electricity-generating power plants can meet. Possible applications include process heat for industrial applications, the generation of fuels such as hydrogen for transportation, and a variety of possible off-grid applications [20-23]. Likewise, other energy-generating technologies will continue to develop and will be deployed as appropriate. In the much longer term, these could potentially include fusion power. If that is successful, it could ultimately replace some of the technologies of today, including perhaps nuclear fission power. 6Ã£â¬ Conclusion Nuclear energy alone is not a solution, but it is likely in the near Future to have an increasing role as part of the global energy mix. Through the analysis and investigation, it is clear that nuclear power can bring significant long term benefits in terms of increased access to energy and security of energy supply. Nuclear power at present does possess proven technologies that ensure adequate safety level and safe radwaste disposal. Non-proliferation of nuclear materials is effectively supported by the system of IAEA safeguards. This structure is sound and it provides the basis for the further development of nuclear energy. However, the nuclear industry needs to work on new, innovative technologies in order: on one hand, to reduce the costs and thus answer the strong challenge of competing energy generation technologies, on the other hand, to facilitate the dialogue between the nuclear industry and the public by providing more transparent, convincing solutions and designs A success ful development of innovative nuclear technologies addressing these two key challenges would permit a large-scale development of nuclear energy in the next century. Thus, in the foreseeable future, the need for the development and deployment of more advanced versions of todayÃ¢â¬â¢s energy production technologies will continue, and all promising technologies should be pursued. It is likely that different technologies could be favored in different circumstances. These circumstances could be based on a variety of factors, including national policy, regulatory and other mechanisms in different countries, and geopolitical situations (remoteness, availability of particular resources, etc.). Globally, it appears that the world is likely to need substantial new contributions from all sources, particularly those capable of supplying significant amounts of clean, low-carbon energy. Nuclear power is one of the most promising of these sources. References  International Automatic Energy Agency , Nuclear Technology Review, August 2006, IAEA, Vienna , Austria.  Energy, Electricity and Nuclear Power Estimates for the period up to 2020, Reference Data series No. 1, July 2002, IAEA, Vienna , Austria.  International Automatic Energy Agency IAEA Bulletin, volume 49/1. September 2007, IAEA, Vienna, Austria.  Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, .  IAEA, 2008b.Nuclear Power Reactors in theWorld. IAEA Reference Data Series no. 2. Vienna.  IAEA, 2009. 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