ISES 2013 - Day 1 - Prof. Dr. Philos Kristian Fossheim (President, Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters) - Nuclear Friend or Foe


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With the growing need for energy, and the goal to reduce CO2emissions, the safety of nuclear power is much debated. Can nuclear energy contribute to a more sustainable energy future?

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ISES 2013 - Day 1 - Prof. Dr. Philos Kristian Fossheim (President, Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters) - Nuclear Friend or Foe

  1. 1. What is nuclear energy? What forces are we playing with? Kristian Fossheim Opening remarks ISES Trondheim 2013
  2. 2. Electronic energies (”chemical” or photonic) are typically of the order of 1 electron-volt (eV) Electrons are weakly bound, leading to ”big” atoms! Protons and neutrons are very strongly bound Therefore: (Atomic rad.)/(Nuclear rad.)≈ 1000 000
  3. 3. Splitting a nucleus typically releases an energy 200 000 000 eV This is 200 million times more than in a typical chemical process. Fission: a very fast avalanche which needs to be controlled by a moderator
  4. 4. Nuclear energy generates heat which boils hot water and drives turbines, generating electricity
  5. 5. Is Norway a user of nuclear technology, or affected by nuclear accidents? Since the 1950´s Norway has been operating -One research reactor near Oslo -One research reactor in Halden Since 1986 livestock and wildlife in several regions have been affected by fallout from the Tsjernobyl disaster in the Soviet Union Since 1993 Norway has assisted Russia with cleaning up after defective nuclear submarines in the Kola peninsula, of which there are a great number not far from the Norwegian border. Norway is assisting Russia with security standards in Russian nuclear power stations in Kola and St Petersburg
  6. 6. Nytt miljø A simpler design
  7. 7. GLOBAL WARMING Most developed countries are in the early stages of implementing policies to stabilize and ulti- mately reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the attendant global warming. The scientific consensus about the risks of further significant increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas con- centrations grows steadily stronger and more widely endorsed. This consensus underlies a strong impetus for governmental actions that prepare the ground for meeting possibly strin- gent CO2 emission constraints in the decades ahead, specifically global emission levels com- parable to or below those of today, despite a considerable increase in energy production and use. Developing countries will need to limit the growth of greenhouse gas emissions while their energy consumption increases dramatically. For example, if atmospheric concentration of CO2 is not allowed to exceed twice its pre-industrial value, then CO2 emissions in the 21st century will need to be held to half the cumulative total expected under a “business as usual” trajectory,1 and the annual emission rate would eventually need to fall well below the 2000 value. While our focus is on global warming because of its overwhelming international implications, we recognize that reduction in other emissions from fossil fuel combustion would have impor- tant regional and local benefits for clean air.
  8. 8. Firmalogo