Say No To Nuclear!

The use of fossil sources such as coal and oil to produce electricity doesn’t match the definition of “Sustainable Development”.

The discovery of a directly proportional growth trend between the use of fossil energies and the earth global warming has further increased the study of new solutions having as a priority to cut down the greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy matters are, therefore, playing an increasingly important role.

Everywhere in the world incentives to the use of renewable energies, allowing the reduction of atmospheric pollution generated by heating systems and thermal power stations supplied by fossil sources, have been proposed.

In order to satisfy the global request of electric and thermal power, the solution proposed has been, in this context, a comeback  of nuclear energy as the uranium, the feedstock for  nuclear power plants, doesn’t release CO2 in the atmosphere, the main greenhouse gas, compared to other fossil fuels. This statement is not completely true because the CO2 not released during the fuel cycle is released during the construction of the plant itself.

Other extremely negative aspects for the  environments, for which no solution has been found yet are:

- Hazardous Waste disposal: this dangerous waste must be stored until depletion of the radioactivity so that it become harmless. This process requires thousands of years and, to date, no country in the world has been capable to develop such a state-of-the-art technology able to make this waste harmless or easy to dispose of.

- Nuclear power plants safety: despite the new generation of nuclear power plants guarantees a high safety level, it is commonly agreed that there is no technology to make them 100% safe yet. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster is still alive in the memories and this makes the identification of available sites very difficult, considering all the problems that the local inhabitants should face. Local communities are usually reluctant to accept a nuclear power plant and the related hazardous waste deposit near their homes.

Production costs: nuclear power plants planning and implementation costs are very high, because the required technology and competencies to build a plant are of a very high level; moreover, safety related costs must be added, both concerning the structure, in order to avoid incidents or damages due to force majeure occurrences, and military matters, in order to prevent terrorist attacks of any nature. Also the costs to dismantle a nuclear power plant at the end of its activity are very high. For this reason it is not possible to find private nuclear power plants, State funding is always necessary, with the consequence that what is saved from the monthly electricity bill is paid in increased taxation.

These three aspects are joined by citizens concerns about the undeniable technological linkages between civil nuclear power production  and the war industry. The relationship between the use of uranium and weapons production is a possible danger also for civilized and developing countries. 

The doubt arises, then, that turning to nuclear power to face the problem of daily power needs is the best solution. It can be the case, and should be the case that eliminating waste of energy cutting down consumption, making the power plants more efficient using them in a correct and efficient way and investing, at public and private level, in the renewable sources is a better option.

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