The Nuclear Path

The topic of electricity generation from nuclear power elicits strong emotions from supporters and critics. Although nuclear power supplies only the equivalent of 5.7% of the world primary energy at the time of writing this book, some believe this should be expanded massively. They argue that it is an attractive source of electricity, having very low carbon emissions.

After the Three Mile Island and the Chernobyl accidents there was a period of nearly ten years during which almost no new nuclear capacity was constructed. However, the recent concerns regarding fossil fuel security have prompted a number of countries to consider new building programmes. China and India are planning to build several tens of reactors each and the USA is posed to do the same. In contrast within Europe, only Finland has embarked on the construction of a new nuclear plant while, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany all have moratoriums in place leading to a phasing out of nuclear power. France on the other hand, remains committed to nuclear power which contributes about 80% of its present electricity needs.

In the UK the 2003 government White Paper was critical of the nuclear option, but by 2006, with concerns about a possible energy gap, the government's position had changed. It is now supportive in principal of a new nuclear programme. A key concern is that major investments in nuclear will deprive renewable energy sources of the finance they need to expand. Reflecting its importance, the debate over nuclear power is extensive and there is voluminous literature. Reference [8] provides a good entry point for those interested.

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Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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