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1/4th Global Power Can Come from Nuclear by 2050

International Energy Agency

June 16, 2010

Almost one quarter of global electricity could be generated from nuclear power by 2050, making a major contribution to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. This is the central finding of the Nuclear Energy Technology Roadmap, published today by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). Such an expansion will require nuclear generating capacity to more than triple over the next 40 years, a target the roadmap describes as ambitious but achievable.

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Public attitudes toward nuclear power- survey at MIT

February, 2007


In 2002, as part of the MIT study on The Future of Nuclear Power, the first MIT Energy survey investigated public attitudes toward nuclear power in light of other sources of electric power. The survey found cost and environmental harm to be key drivers behind public preferences regarding energy sources. In February 2007, the survey was repeated using similar sampling methodologies and the same core questionnaire, augmented  by questions about global warming, waste treatment, and transfer of nuclear technology.

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Right-sized reactor may soon become reality

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A smaller scale, exportable, lifelong proliferation-resistant “right-sized reactor” may be coming soon to a town or military base near you thanks to the efforts of a Sandia research team led by Tom Sanders (6063).

Tom has been collaborating with numerous Sandians on advancing the small reactor concept to an integrated design that incorporates intrinsic safeguards, security, and safety. This opens the way for possible exportation of the reactor to developing countries that do not have the infrastructure to support large power sources. The smaller reactor design decreases the potential of the countries to develop an advanced nuclear regulatory framework.

Incorporated into the design, says team member Gary Rochau (6771), is what is referred to as “nuke-star,” an integrated monitoring system that provides the exporters of such technologies a means of assuring the safe, secure, and legitimate use of nuclear technology.

“This small reactor would produce somewhere in the range of 100 to 300 megawatts of thermal power and could supply energy to remote areas and developing countries at lower costs and with a manufacturing turnaround period of two years as opposed to seven for its larger relatives,” Tom says. “It could also be a more practical means to implement nuclear base load capacity comparable to natural gas-fired generating stations and with more manageable financial demands than a conventional power plant.”

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George Will - Pro Nuclear

The 29 people killed last week in the West Virginia coal-mine explosion will soon be as forgotten by the nation as are the 362 miners who were killed in a 1907 explosion in that state, the worst mining disaster in American history. The costs of producing the coal that generates approximately half of America's electricity also include the hundreds of other miners who have suffered violent death in that dangerous profession, not to mention those who have suffered debilitating illnesses and premature death from ailments acquired toiling underground.

Which makes particularly pertinent the fact that the number of Americans killed by accidents in 55 years of generating electricity by nuclear power is: 0. That is the same number of Navy submariners and surface sailors injured during six decades of living in very close proximity to reactors.

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