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Questions about nuclear fuel....

Last week, the Sustainable Development Commission, an UK government advisory panel, came out strongly against nuclear energy. Its main arguments were that doubling nuclear capacity would have only little effect on carbon emissions and that disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

It had listed five disadvantages,
** No long-term solutions for the storage of nuclear waste are yet available, says the SDC, and storage presents clear safety issues
** The economics of nuclear new-build are highly uncertain, according to the report
** Nuclear would lock the UK into a centralised energy distribution system for the next 50 years when more flexible distribution options are becoming available
** The report claims that nuclear would undermine the drive for greater energy efficiency
** If the UK brings forward a new nuclear programme, it becomes more difficult to deny other countries the same technology, the SDC claims

I think these disadvantages need to be raised before the Government of India as it decides to go for full fledged nuclear energy expansion (according to one report, it aims to have 25% of total energy generation through nuclear energy). Has the government thought about these issues. As in the medium to long term, the distribution system is set to be privatised or corporatised in the case of state electricity boards, how would more focus on nuclear energy affect the reforms? What is the expected cost of generating nuclear energy with availability of new technologies?? Will it be competitive?


Saumitra said…
John, you have to look at the problems with the number one electricity generator in the US --- coal. Coal has severe problems. This months National Geographic Magazine points out several coal related issues. Check out this small excerpt on problems with coal at

Also there is a second article excerpt on Strip Mining of Mountains to find coal in America.

50% of the US Electricity Generation comes from Coal, but it causes 83% of all American Carbon Dioxide Emissions. Coal mining companies are now using a process called Strip-Mining to get the maximum amount of coal from a mountain. Essentially the process blows up a large portion of the mountain. Hence, a large portion of America's Appalation Mountain Range is disappearing. Furthermore, the coal dust and the pollution from these mines that run into the main water supplies are creating birth-defects and major health problems. I am not trying to debunk your views, but I think people forget about the drawbacks of coal--the main source of energy. I forgot about the problems of coal as well, but my friend who studied environmental economics taught me about the problems with coal a fews weeks before I found this issuse of National Geographic. The magazine calls this problem, "The Coal Paradox: We can't live without it. But can we survive with it?" Check it out.

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