Nuclear has earned its badge as the most controversial power source. Major accidents, such a Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi, are ‘burnt into’ our collective memory. Yet the urgent need to avert global climate change is putting it back on the global agenda.
Splitting radioactive atoms – typically Plutonium and Uranium – triggers an explosive chain reaction. The two BIG questions that tend to put people in ‘pro’ or ‘con’ camps are: a) how well is that reaction controlled? And b) What about all that radioactive waste?
How do heavy elements end up as electricity?
In 2020, nuclear power provided 10% of global electricity demand, with zero GHG emissions. Germany has vowed to ban it and Sweden is scaling back, while France – which already gets 70% of electricity from nuclear – recently announced plans to build new plants. In a public referendum, the people of Taiwan chose nuclear over burning more coal to keep pace with growing demand.
While considering whether nuclear is (or isn’t) a clean energy option, we’d like you to take account of few key facts.