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[en] The world needs energy to support everyday life and drive human and economic development. In 2019, over 26 000 terawatt-hours of electricity were produced worldwide. This electricity is being produced by a range of energy sources, mostly fossil fuels but also nuclear power and renewables such as solar, hydro and wind. Energy production and use are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions around the world. As greenhouse gases are a driving force behind climate change, countries worldwide are actively working on a clean energy transition by changing how energy is produced. Here’s a closer look at the clean energy transition and what role nuclear power plays.
[en] Science provides a clear and objective case that nuclear energy should be the primary replacement for carbon fuels and that “renewables” are not sufficient. A viable energy source needs to be stable and to provide controllable energy, whenever and wherever required. The science of energy is well established, and it places available sources in three clear categories widely separated in potency: pre-industrial, chemical, and nuclear. There have been three corresponding critical turning points in human history: the adoption of pre-industrial sources, the Industrial Revolution, and today, the need to go carbon-free. At this point excluding fossil fuels and reverting to the pre-industrial energy regime is not an option that is compatible with social and economic stability – “renewables are not a viable main primary source of energy. The only option is nuclear with its million-fold superiority in energy density, inherent physical control and natural biological radiation safety: the scientific reasons for each of these are given. However, the public are largely unaware of these. Indeed, in the past the truth has often been misrepresented for political reasons. Today to establish the dominant use of nuclear energy the greatest challenge is educational, to provide a proper positive image of nuclear science in schools and the media, and to overturn much of the precautionary culture of the past 70 years. Global climate change is a far greater threat than nuclear energy ever was. (author)
[en] • Nuclear energy is the only energy source that survives scientific scrutiny. • The present precautionary culture obstructs and delays the rapid roll out of nuclear power needed to replace both fossil fuel and “renewable” plants worldwide. • Education challenge is critical, to build the skill base and to get opinion formers on side side– the media, teachers and politicians have never been told the truth. • Climate Change brings likely global dangers that far outweigh any local nuclear risk. • Safety regulations should be recast based on existing scientific evidence. • Those concerned with radiation safety should review how they might best contribute towards a safe future in a new nuclear world.
[en] The role of teacher is important in forming student’s perception. Most student first learn about the side effect of using fossils fuels, with teachers as the sole source of informations.
[en] The world is far off track when it comes to meeting the Paris Agreement climate goals of limiting the global temperature increase by 1.5°C to 2°C by 2050. Current projections show that fossil fuels will still make up the majority of world energy use by 2050. If we miss the 1.5°C target, this could mean accepting climate impacts, such as millions of people being displaced by sea level rise and millions more being exposed to extreme heatwaves, as well as major biodiversityrelated impacts, including species loss, the elimination of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, and the loss of virtually all coral reefs. If we miss the 2°C target, half the world’s population could be exposed to summertime ‘deadly heat,’ Antarctic ice sheets could collapse, droughts could increase massively, and the Sahara Desert could begin to expand into southern Europe. World food supplies could be imperilled, driving mass human migration and leading to a growing risk of civilizational collapse. The Clean Energy Ministerial Flexible Nuclear Campaign we co-founded explores the expanded role that nuclear energy can play in de-risking the energy transition. Here, we describe two opportunities to drive deeper decarbonization with nuclear energy. The first is to expand the role of nuclear energy in electricity production through a combination of advanced reactors and thermal energy storage. This is intended to complement renewables in future energy grids. The second is to address the use of oil and gas, which currently accounts for three quarters of energy consumption, by providing large-scale, low-cost hydrogen produced with nuclear power.
[en] Looking Forward: • Need to think more broadly about how we value energy systems, especially infrastructure assets as parts of larger systems. • “Need” for clean energy and expanded markets is clear, but without economic incentive, it is unlikely to happen at scale. • Ones that can be expanded to new markets (electricity poverty). • Natural hazards are devastating infrastructure at an increasing rate and substantial cost: • Fuel supply chains; • System failure and cascading impacts; • Transmission and distribution vulnerability; • SMR and MMR technology is important in these contexts.
[en] The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) defines Small modular reactors (SMRs) as advanced reactors that produce electric power up to 300 MW(e) per module, designed to be built in factories and shipped to utilities for installation as demand arises. These reactors are designed to have enhanced safety performance with the help of inherent and passive safety features, offer a broad range of users and applications, provide opportunity for flexible power generation and present better upfront capital cost affordability. One of the possible applications is for remote regions with less developed infrastructures, along with the option to combine nuclear with alternative energy sources. There are two aspects of the off-grid power demands that are important indicators of the market for SMRs: the magnitude of local power demands, and the number of sites requiring local power generation. Isolated Northern areas currently employ mostly fossil fuel based sources to meet the energy demands. There are plausible benefits of deploying SMRs in these areas for climate change mitigation. (author)
[en] In the United States, an approach to manage the aging of spent fuel dry storage systems was created by contributions from the regulatory body, storage facility owners, cask vendors, and the engineering community. The U.S. regulations for storing spent fuel beyond the first approved storage term require aging management activities to ensure that materials degradation will not adversely affect the safe storage of the spent fuel. Several guidance documents provide recommendations for complying with this regulation. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) developed NUREG-1927 and NEI 14-03, respectively, to describe methods to identify the components that support a safety function, to evaluate the aging mechanisms could affect safety, and to establish aging management activities. The NEI guidance also introduces a new system to share operating experience through an Institute of Nuclear Power Operations database. The NRC also developed NUREG-2214 to identify the credible materials aging mechanisms for several cask designs used in the United States. NUREG-2214 also provides example aging management programs that may be used to effectively manage aging. Those programs rely, in part, on consensus codes and standards for monitoring and inspection guidelines, such as American Concrete Institute codes and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. Finally, to provide oversight of aging management activities, the NRC is developing internal procedures to evaluate, through inspection, the storage facilities’ performance of their aging management programs. Lessons learned from NRC Temporary Instruction TI 2690/011 will inform the development of a new NRC inspection procedure. (author)
[en] As part of its efforts to help resolve the major climate and energy issues facing future generations over the next decades, France is committed to a global energy transition materialised through the Act of 17 August 2015 on the energy transition for green growth (LTECV). This act defines the main objectives for the medium and long term. Among these objectives, it is worth highlighting: — Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 40% between 1990 and 2030, and a 4-fold reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2050; — Development of renewable energy sources to reach 23% of the gross final energy consumption in 2020 and then 32% in 2030; — Reduction in nuclear energy’s contribution to electricity generation to reach 50% by around 2035. To achieve these objectives, the LTECV Act specifies the definition of a French national strategy to lower carbon emissions (SNBC) and a multi-year energy programme (PPE). The first version of this programme covers the periods 2016 to 2018 and 2018 to 2023. It must be reviewed every 5 years over a 10-year period. The main orientations of this PPE programme for the 2019-2028 period were published by the French government within the scope of a project announced in January 2019; they will be open to public consultation before their adoption scheduled for the end of summer. (author)
[en] Nuclear energy may help to overcome the restrictions on economic growth posed by climate change mitigation policies The required 50% reduction in the anthropogenic per capita GHG emissions can be achieved if the following structure of global energy balance is reached by 2050s: • 40% share of traditional generation of electricity from fossil fuels; • 40% share of basic nuclear energy stations; • 20% share of solar, wind and small hydro-power plants which serve predominantly the local and off-grid customers. The required reductions of carbon intensity of electricity generation can be implemented if the currently available nuclear power technologies are transferred to the developing countries which have the highest rates of GDP growth.