Energy crisis: Will the world use nuclear sources again?

The worldwide energy crisis has forced many countries to re-use nuclear sources to generate energy, with divided opinions in different circles.

According to the international website, many countries around the world are interested in nuclear energy and are trying to find alternative sources in view of the increase in the cost of energy imports at the global level and the destruction caused by the climate crisis.

In Japan, investment in nuclear power declined after the 2011 Fukushima accident (the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986) as safety concerns grew and governments panicked.

However, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, energy supplies fell, and Europe’s efforts to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas have now reversed the trend in favor of nuclear power.

Governments are faced with difficult decisions due to rising gas and electricity bills and scarce resources, which could lead to widespread hardship this winter.

Some experts still believe that nuclear energy should not be seen as an option to deal with these problems, but others say that it should remain part of the world’s energy mix in the face of many crises.

One of the countries rethinking nuclear power is Japan, where many nuclear reactors were suspended due to safety concerns following the 2011 accident.

This week, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called for revitalizing the country’s nuclear power industry and building new nuclear plants. Other countries seeking to move away from nuclear power have also abandoned these plans for the time being.

Belgium delayed its plan to phase out nuclear power by a decade in 2025, less than a month after Russia invaded Ukraine.

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Nuclear power currently used in 32 countries provides 10 percent of the world’s electricity generation, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) estimated in September for the first time since the 2011 disaster. added

The IAEA now expects the current nuclear power generation capacity to double by 2050 under a favorable scenario.

Divided opinion

Several countries have expressed their desire to develop nuclear infrastructure as an alternative to coal, including China, which already has the largest number of reactors, as well as the Czech Republic in response to rising electricity demand. , India and Poland are also included in this list.

The United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands have similar ambitions, even as US President Joe Biden’s investment plan encourages growth in the sector.

Experts from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledge that the use of nuclear energy may be limited by societal priorities such as the risk of catastrophic accidents and solutions for the safe disposal of radioactive waste. Opinions are divided on this due to the demand issue.

A few countries, including New Zealand, oppose nuclear power, and there has been a heated debate in the European Union over whether it should be considered green energy.

Last month, the European Parliament approved a controversial proposal to label investments in gas and nuclear power as sustainable finance.

There are other issues with nuclear infrastructure, including the ability to build new reactors while tightly controlling costs and delays.

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