Image: Nuclear Power Plant
Inside of the Kruemmel nuclear power plant in Geesthacht near Hamburg, Germany.
The nuclear debate is back to the fore, but with a new angle. Supporters claim that we must use nuclear power to avoid catastrophic climate change. This is because it produces much less greenhouse gases than burning coal, oil and gas. It is an established technology that could meet the bulk of our energy needs.
Opponents claim it is dangerous to the environment and there's a risk of misuse to produce weapons. There are plenty of better and safer alternatives like solar or wind power. If enough investment was made, these technologies could more than match the capacity of nuclear energy.
There are over 440 nuclear plants operating worldwide producing 15 per cent of the world's electricity. Over 30 countries are actively considering using nuclear power programs. Nuclear fission is being investigated as an alternative to the current nuclear fission energy. It is suggested that nuclear fission could meet all our energy needs, is less dangerous than the current process and produces lower levels of radioactive waste. However it is unlikely that there will be commercial reactors until at least the 2040s.
- Martin Langer
- © Martin Langer/Greenpeace