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Europe Establishes New Forum for Nuclear Energy Research

The EU launched a Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform to bring researchers and industry together to define and implement a strategic research agenda and corresponding deployment strategy for new nuclear power systems.

Europe has the largest nuclear industry in the world and one-third of its electricity comes from nuclear plants.

For those countries that choose it, nuclear power will be a very important part of their solution to security of supply and reduction of greenhouse gases. It is clear that we need to address two important concerns – ensuring that nuclear power is economically competitive and, more importantly, our duty to make it as neutral as possible in environmental terms and in terms of the legacy we leave future generations. The answer to both these concerns can be found in research: innovation and the next generation of nuclear power plants, with increased safety, efficiency and a significant reduction in nuclear waste as well as sound ways of recycling or storing it.

—Janez Potočnik, European Science and Research Commissioner

The European Technology platform will provide expert advice and recommendations to the European Commission and national governments to help define and concentrate the efforts and budgets on priorities agreed at EU level.

Comments

Pierre Lablanc

The only research they should be doing is on how to shut these monstrosities down as soon as possible.


The only good nukes is no nukes.

cs1992

Pierre-

Please tell us with what they should be replaced.

next generation nukes will probably be able to burn nuclear waste of the actual nukes (at 4000% the efficiency of the former ones).
Let's build them and burn the waste to produce the terrawatts we will desperately need to save the planet

They should be replaced with proper decentralised energy generation, massive expansion of a diverse selection of micro, small and large scale renewable capacity, serious investment in marine power, development of DC grids to deliver large scale renewable electricity (e.g. from CSP stations) long distances, V2G, dynamic demand incorporated in all appropriate appliances....

richard schumacher

Economic justice and global warming together require a vast expansion of nuclear energy, for these reasons: by the end of the century there will be nine billion people on Earth. Providing them with a Western standard of living at European/Japanese energy efficiency will require increasing the world's energy supply by a factor of about four. It is impossible to do this through conservation. It would be both un-necessarily expensive and ecologically ruinous to do it only with a mix of renewables and fossil fuels. (Where would you put 200,000 km^2 of Solar cells or 10 million windmills? How would you store 100,000 cubic miles of CO2 every year?)

Scatter

Current European/Japanese energy efficiency (or more relevently carbon emissions per capita) is not good. Better than North America perhaps but still we have a long way to go.

Nuclear power is not a solution for the developing world. Why go to the extreme lengths and costs of developing costly nuclear power stations and a large scale grid system when you can have locally produced, sustainable decentralised power? Let's not make the same mistakes twice.

And there's also the thorny issue of weapons proliferation and waste storage which would be greatly exacerbated by a global push to fission. If they get fusion going then all well and good but I'm not holding my breath!

Why go to the extreme lengths and costs of developing costly nuclear power stations and a large scale grid system when you can have locally produced, sustainable decentralised power?
Maybe because nuclear is cheaper and actually is demonstrated as working, unlike these largely fictional decentralized systems many are deluded into believing are competitive. Power generation is inherently an industry that benifits from centralization and economies of scale.

Nuclear cheap? Only with large amounts of public money propping it up. Looking at the whole lifecycle, the economics simply don't stack up.

I'm sorry but it makes absolutely no sense to use nuclear as a tool for sustainable development.

G. R. L. Cowan, boron combustion fan

We should have many more nuclear power stations because they don't harm the environment and their fuel is almost fantastically cheap and plentiful. They are not subsidized, but because the high cost of fossil fuels includes a large share taken by government, the cheapness of their fuel does result in less money for government.

Scatter

In most countries they are subsidised because the taxpayer is paying for the cleanup and long term storage of the mess they've made. That will amount to hundreds of billions (possibly trillions) of dollars of subsidy around the world. It's already reached £70 billion ($140 billion) in the UK. But of course that isn't factored into the per kWh price so it gives the illusion of cheap electricity.

However I will hand it to the nuclear industry that they have waged a spectacular PR campaign to turn peoples' attitudes around from knowing it to be a dying industry a decade ago to perceiving it to be the saviour of humanity now.

matt

i like mr cowans assertion that nuclear fuel is cheap and plentiful. lol you might b surprised to find it is neither, if the world were to turn to nuclear power on the scale suggested, we would exhaust economic (easily mined) supplies of uranium before we run out of economic (easily pumped) supplies of oil. lol

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