Friday, 21 May 2010

What are we waiting for ?

In February, Microsoft’s Bill Gates went public about investing tens of millions of dollars into innovative reactor designs as part of his philanthropic quest for energy miracles. Then, a week later, US President Barack Obama announced that the US Government would back over $US8 billion ($A8.64 billion) in loans for nuclear power plants, the first new ones to be built since the 1979 Three Mile Island disaster, as part of a planned $US54.5 billion ($A58.9 billion) nuclear kick-start programme.
Epoch Times

BANGKOK—Choices are rapidly dwindling if you want to live in a nuclear-free country in the East Asia-Pacific Rim region.

New Zealand, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei are your options—everywhere else is either operating, researching or planning nuclear power.

While the Western countries that first embraced nuclear energy are now hand-ringing over the issue because of safety worries, Asia is planning massive development of the controversial fuel source. It’s seen by an increasing number of countries as the only way to meet mushrooming electricity demand and limit or reduce pollution blamed for global warming.

Climate change is forecast by environmental scientists as likely to cause more devastation affecting more people in Asia than anywhere else on Earth.
The Irrawaddy

Nuclear power has many benefits for producing energy from nuclear reactors. Environmentally nuclear energy's impact is very little. The power generated from nuclear power, which is a green energy, does not contribute any emissions to the atmosphere while other types of fossil fuels generate greenhouse gasses and poisonous elements which can lead to ozone problems, acid rain, and global warming. Nuclear power is relatively inexpensive compared with other types of energy. Uranium, which is the raw fuel, is less expensive than oil, natural gas, or coal. Therefore because nuclear power in inexpensive it generates into lower electricity costs for consumers. Nuclear power is a reliable source of power as nuclear power plants produce large amounts of power on a consistent basis. Therefore there are viable reasons to using nuclear power.
Green Energy Help Files

Uranium is present at an abundance 2 - 3 parts per million in the Earth's crust which is about 600 times greater than gold and about the same as tin. The amount of Uranium that is available is mostly a measure of the price that we're willing to pay for it. At present the cost of Natural Uranium ($165 per kg) is a small component in the price of electricity generated by Nuclear Power. At a price of $US110 per kg the known reserves amount to about 85 years supply at the current level of consumption with an expected further 500 years supply in additional or speculative reserves. The price of Uranium would have to increase by over a factor of 3 before it would have an impact of the cost of electricity generated from Nuclear Power. Such a price rise would stimulate a substantial increase in exploration activities with a consequent increase in the size of the resource (as has been the case with every other mineral of value). The price of Uranium rose to a peak of over 300/kg in 2007 but has since declined to $165 by early 2008.. The world reserves of Uranium have increased by around 50% since the end of 2003.

However advanced technologies are being developed which are far more efficient in their use of Uranium or which utilize Thorium which is 3 times more abundant than Uranium. If perfected these technologies can make use of both the spent fuel from current nuclear reactors and the depleted Uranium stocks used for enrichment. Taken together these provide enough fuel for many centuries of energy production. This will mitigate the demand for newly mined Uranium.
Nuclear Info

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