Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nuclear Energy for Climate Change?

If experts are to be believed, nuclear energy has failed to establish itself as a safe, clean and cheap source of energy. The industry’s credibility has been seriously undermined due to the crisis in nuclear waste management. As far as global climate change is concerned, nuclear energy has no role to play. According to Forbes, an American business magazine, one of the biggest managerial disasters in the business history has been the failure of the US nuclear power program. Earlier it was predicted that even though cheap nuclear power plants are more expensive to set as compared to fossil fuel plants, its maintenance and running cost will be very low. With time this prediction proved to be wrong. But recently, nuclear energy has been turned into a pivotal bargaining chip by Senate Democrats in order to look for more Republican votes for passing the climate legislation.

The nuclear power industry has been trying hard to re-brand itself as a green industry from several years. There are various challenges associated with this industry, especially waste of the highly radioactive reactor. However, in 31 states, more than 104 power reactors are providing one-fifth of the country’s electricity. Besides electricity, these sectors are also producing 70% of carbon free power, devoid of harmful green house gas emission. According to the president of Nuclear Energy Institute, nuclear energy can play an important role in producing electricity and controlling climate change. It will be interesting to see how the nuclear power industry which otherwise received tepid support from all sectors will turn into an important equation in climate change.

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