Nuclear energy after Fukushima

As the world’s eyes focus on Japan for developments in the Fukishima story, many media outlets in the west are beginning to discuss nuclear power in slightly more questioning terms than previously.

Nuclear was, at the time of its beginning as a UK fuel source, seen as the future in entirety: a fuel source that would soon be ‘too cheap to meter’. Then of course various nuclear accidents happened: Windscale (which led to the Sellafield re-branding), Three Mile Island, Chernobyl.

At the time of writing, the Fukushima Daiichi incidents have actually had an effect on the stock market. What this means for the nuclear industry is too early to say, but my guess would be that in future any new generation of power stations would have to be more or less meltproof – for two reasons: the first reason is that the ecology simply cannot be subjected to another catastrophe of this kind. The second is that investors will likely see less value in nuclear after Fukushima.

But energy industries are changing massively – and with the Chinese economy growing exponentially, energy will still have to come from somewhere. There’s been talk of making electricity using thorium (abundant, cheaper, safer) so who know where we will be even in ten years’ time.

For the moment though, nuclear can’t just be wound down, decommissioned, forgotten about. Strong opinions are held, and there will be heated debate and loud controversy. Renewables might previously have been seen as some kind of an ‘alternative lifestyle’ (beard and sandals) option. Not no more…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments »

  1. This just highlights the dangers of Nuclear power. No matter how carefully you plan for diaster (and the Japanese do) there is always incidents that are unavoidable. It’s just not worth the risk!

  2. Greener Power said

    Hi, and thanks for taking the time to comment.

    It looks like Fukushima could become a defining moment in the energy industry. I mean, we all used to look back at Cherbnobyl ( a Cold war incident, let’s not forget) with a mix of horror and fascination.

    Fukushima is a reminder of just how bad that was.

  3. I think you’re right, it will drive discussion and raises awareness of the dangers of nuclear power but I just wish it didn’t take a disaster to happen for people to sit up and take notice. I suppose that is the nature of the world we live in.

  4. jason said

    In the greed stricken world that we live in today, it is not uncommon for powerful people to promote things that are known be harmful. There are foods that cause cancer, fda regulated drugs that are killing unborn children, drugs that the government won’t decriminalize that cure cancer. the truth is that the people who have control now, just want to stay in control until they die. It doesnt matter to these people that others will suffer at their expense. People like us, who dedicate their time to spreading awareness, will make a difference.

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