Nuclear Power

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Nuclear Power

  1. 1. Nuclear Power
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>Atoms for peace: seen in the 50’s as a sustainable clean energy source by some and as a threat to the planet by others. </li></ul><ul><li>Powered by uranium: 50 tonnes per year as opposed to 500 tonnes coal per hour </li></ul><ul><li>Cannot be used for heat or transport only electricity generation </li></ul>
  3. 3. Usage in MEDC’s and LEDC’s <ul><li>Its role has increased to 17% of world energy supply in 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Expansion in SE Asia </li></ul><ul><li>France and Japan continue to develop nuclear power but other MEDC’s have not increased nuclear output </li></ul><ul><li>Eastern Bloc countries have significant contributions from ageing power plants </li></ul><ul><li>Future uncertain </li></ul>
  4. 4. Advantages <ul><li>Easy to transport due to size </li></ul><ul><li>No emissions </li></ul><ul><li>Safety records are good </li></ul><ul><li>Less intrusive on the landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Long term and on a global scale nuclear is seen as a neccessity </li></ul><ul><li>Some waste can be reprocessed and used again (Thorpe Sheffield) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Disadvantages <ul><li>Seven Islands USA 1979, Chernobyl 1986 </li></ul><ul><li>Accidents contaminate water table </li></ul><ul><li>Accidents effect areas thousands of KM away. </li></ul><ul><li>How to safely dispose of nuclear waste </li></ul>
  6. 6. Disadvantages <ul><li>Often in the past waste dumped at sea </li></ul><ul><li>2/3 of nuclear waste dumped in Barents Sea </li></ul><ul><li>Law banned this in 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Land disposal only option: Sellafield UK. Fears of seepage or land tremors </li></ul>
  7. 7. More disadvantages <ul><li>Decommissioning ageing reactors is a serious environmental and economic issue, due to contamination has to be spread over 100years. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Economic Disadvantages <ul><li>Electricity generation in MEDC’s needs to: </li></ul><ul><li>Have low capital costs </li></ul><ul><li>New power plants that can gain planning permission easily </li></ul><ul><li>Quick to set up. </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible in terms of energy supply due to changing demand. </li></ul><ul><li>None of these apply to nuclear </li></ul>
  9. 9. Economic Disadvantages <ul><li>Nuclear is expensive so it is heavily subsidised. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Location of nuclear power plants <ul><li>Safety: away from large populated areas </li></ul><ul><li>Near abundant water supply </li></ul><ul><li>Uranium is small in size so… </li></ul><ul><li>Nuclear is for the national grid so… </li></ul>

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