Why nuclear power will never supply the world's energy needs May 11, by Lisa Zyga, Phys. As Abbott notes in his study, global power consumption today is about 15 terawatts TW. Currently, the global nuclear power supply capacity is only gigawatts GW.
There is a perception that there is a vast supply of natural gas; this source is being promoted as a way to meet air quality objectives by some government agencies.
If gas is to be used, several questions or issues need to be addressed: Why, during recent years, have natural gas and LP gas prices increased substantially even up to a factor of 2x?
Will the increased demand for gas by utilities drive prices up further? Why should lower efficiency applications be used?
Can the gas transmission infrastructure handle the increased gas demand without greatly reducing the amount available for residential home heating? Gas heating releases carbon dioxide to the air. Will this increase global warming? Other questions to address are: Will coal costs increase based on recent Environmental Protection Agency air quality regulation changes?
Will electrical deregulation really result in lower prices? If nuclear is not used, where is the electrical power to come from; how much of a cost increase is the customer willing to pay? These are the questions that should be answered by federal legislators and state utility regulatory agencies.
If you want to query your federal legislator, click the appropriate link- Congressman - Senator. In some cases it has been stated that nuclear has benefited from government subsidies during the early development.
However, that does not mean we should throw away the investment. In fact, many governments have invested heavily in the capital infrastructure for making use of all energy sources.
As an example, electricity costs in the Tennessee Valley and Pacific Northwest are lower because of previous government subsidizes of hydroelectric power - through the building of the dams and the support of the Tennessee Valley Authority and Bonneville Power Administration.
Solar, coal, and wind programs have also received government funding. In general, the United States government has promoted inexpensive energy by taxing energy use at lower rates than in a number of other countries.Nuclear power is reliable, but a lot of money has to be spent on safety - if it does go wrong, a nuclear accident can be a major disaster.
People are increasingly concerned about this - in the 's nuclear power was the fastest-growing source of power in much of the world. Nuclear power plant in Dukovany, Czech Republic.
Image credit: Petr Adamek. (urbanagricultureinitiative.com) -- The commercial nuclear reactors in use worldwide are currently helping to minimize our consumption.
Virginia's four nuclear reactors are located at two sites, in Louisa County (red X) next to Lake Anna and in Surry County (blue X) next to the James River. Primary energy sources take many forms, including nuclear energy, fossil energy-- like oil, coal and natural gas-- and renewable sources like wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower.
These primary sources are converted to electricity, a secondary energy source, which flows through power lines and other transmission infrastructure to your home. +toolbar Alternatives to Nuclear Power Summary There are substantial opportunities for Australia to reduce it's needs for electrical energy without lowering our standard of living.
[Editor's Note: While this statement is Con to Nuclear Power, it is not necessarily Con to Alternative Energy. Greenpeace International is listed as Pro and the European Renewable Energy Council is listed as Not Clearly Pro or Con to our core question "Can alternative energy effectively replace fossil fuels?"].