Thursday, 17 March 2011

Nuclear Power: despite the high risks many developed and developing countries have long utilised its power

With the Japan nuclear alert here are some data I manage to dredge from the net, some may be out dated but would show an idea albeit simplistic (this is just a blog mind you) of what is the existing situation now:

Nuclear Power Plants in the US
Nuclear Power plants in the UK
Nuclear Power Plants in Germany
Nuclear Power Plants in Japan

Looking at this map(1996) the highest concentration of nuclear plants are in North America, Europe , Japan and Korea with smaller distribution in the Indian Subcontinent, China, South Africa, Taiwan and South Americas

This is a positive report on nuclear power, though this was before the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan:

Photo of Market Trend of New Nuclear Power Plant Construction Projects

Malaysia have plans for 2 nuclear reactors but after the Japan Nuclear alert there will be much opposition to the Government's plan. What is the alternative?

Other than nuclear power we have access to solar power, wind power, geothermal, fossil fuel- hydocarbon (oil, natural gas, coal). Check out read this wonderful website for many infos on energy

Energy comes in various forms. The most convenient of all of them is electrical energy. Not only is it easy to generate, but it can also be generated through a number of different ways with the help of different types of power plants:

Nuclear Power Plants, Thermal Power Plants, Hydro Power Plants, Solar Power Plants, 
Geothermal Power Plants, Wind Power Plant, Fossil Fuel Power(Oil, gas, coal)  Plants

This is a very interesting World Energy supply and electricity generation data:

Total world electricity generation by fuel showed that the amount generated by solar, wind, and combustibles renewable, geothermal and waste(biomass) is below 3%, this is insignificant and I believe it would be expensive per unit of power  generation. Going by world trend, if Malaysia is to shelf the nuke idea then we have to place more reliance on Hydro power and fossil fuel(coal, gas and oil). 

What happens when the fossil fuel depletes? Do we go back to the nuclear option? Do we have a choice?

Maybe..... after all we humans do have very short memories, the accidents at the Three Mile Island in the US(1979) and Chernobyl in Russia(1986) seems very far away in our mind until the latest nuclear disaster struck the world in Japan on 11 March 2011. 

The above are food for thought.

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