Associated Press has an article that went out this morning appealing to environmentalist to embrace nuclear power. Here is the ABC version.
Experts Say Nuclear Power Needed to Slow Warming
Some of the world's top climate scientists say wind and solar energy won't be enough to head off extreme global warming, and they're asking environmentalists to support the development of safer nuclear power as one way to cut fossil fuel pollution.
The Full letter from the scientist is here.
The four scientist may think their strategy of appealing to the environmentalist will be reasonable and logical. The problem is most environmental groups survive based on donations, grants, and the efforts of their volunteers. These people are its users and they predominantly believe nuclear power is evil.
What will be the defining moment is what countries follow the advice of the scientist and are more successfully able to lower its carbon footprint.
Below are a few of the countries with nuclear power. The most notable anti nuclear is Japan and Germany.
France is pro nuclear with 75% nuclear power.
Nuclear Power in France
(Updated September 2013)
Germany is anti nuclear and pro coal with renewables
Nuclear Power in Germany
(updated October 2013)
Australia has 31% of the world’s uranium, but no nuclear plants. The majority of power comes from coal.
UK is adding more nuclear and imports Nuclear power from France through a DC power connection.
In the late 1990s, nuclear power plants contributed around 25% of total annual electricity generation in the UK, but this has gradually declined as old plants have been shut down and ageing-related problems affect plant availability.
In 2012, 363 billion kWh (TWh) of electricity was produced in UK. This comprised 70 TWh (19%) nuclear, 100 TWh (27.5%) from gas, 144 TWh (40%) from coal, 19.4 TWh from wind, 8 TWh hydro and 17 TWh from biofuels and wastes. Coal’s share of generation is at its highest level since 1996, with gas’s share at its lowest since 1996.
Net electricity imports from France – mostly nuclear – in 2012 were 12 billion kWh. There is a high-voltage DC connection with France with 2000 MW capacity, and a 1400 MWe link over 700 km with Norway is planned. Per capita UK electricity consumption was 5070 kWh in 2011.
The USA is 30% of the world’s nuclear power generation.
Nuclear Power in the USA
(Updated 30 October 2013)
Nuclear Power in Japan
(Updated 28 October 2013)
Despite being the only country to have suffered the devastating effects of nuclear weapons in wartime, with over 100,000 deaths, Japan embraced the peaceful use of nuclear technology to provide a substantial portion of its electricity. However, following the tsunami which killed 19,000 people and which triggered the Fukushima nuclear accident (which killed no-one), public sentiment shifted markedly so that there were wide public protests calling for nuclear power to be abandoned. The balance between this populist sentiment and the continuation of reliable and affordable electricity supplies is being worked out politically.