Providing plentiful, clean, energy to the world’s growing population will become an increasingly difficult challenge as the effects of climate change begin to take hold and the demand for electricity grows.
Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) provide a reliable, low-carbon, energy source that should be a valued part of any growing country’s energy generation plans.
The Importance of New Technology
Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology will allow growing countries to bring Nuclear Power to entire cities faster than ever before. SMRs are likely to be more cost effective than conventional NPPs, they will be more mobile, more adaptable to hostile environments or out of the way areas.
There are already plans in the works in western countries to produce SMRs in large quantities on assembly lines in factories. Other recent technological advancements such as in robotics technology could make reactors that much safer and more reliable.
The Distribution of Nuclear Reactors Throughout the World
Bringing nuclear technology to highly developed countries which do not yet have it, such as Australia, or maintaining it in countries that are about to give up their access to it, such as Germany, can only do so much good.
There are billions more people in the developing world and therefore more potential demand for electricity, and more room for expansion, than in the less populous and more reluctant developed countries. Bringing NPP’s to the developing countries of the world could do lasting good for the people in those countries for the global climate as a whole.
There are currently 442 operational reactors in the world but only two in Africa, both in South Africa and only 5 in South America, split between Argentina and Brazil. Therefore the newly industrialised countries of the world have started to develop nuclear power as an energy source.
With the population levels and the growing demand for electricity of the newly industrialised countries, they and the developing countries ought to be catching up with and even at some point, overtaking the developed countries of the world in terms of building reactors, lest we end up in a global climate catastrophe.
All that is needed for the green electrification of the developing countries of the world is the necessary infusion of capital, and the necessary knowledge.
The Nuclear Power Industry could electrify the homes of millions, perhaps even billions without the serious consequences of fossil fuels and doing immeasurable good to the people living in those areas where electricity is still sometimes hard to come by.
Why New Nuclear Power Plants are Necessary
There is a vital and growing need for the electrification of the greater part of the population in many developing countries. With students in some countries having to study under street lamps or people burning harmful kerosene just so that they can see in their own homes after dark.
Measures being taken by organisations like Unite to Light are important and ingenious but only building new infrastructure and bringing electrification to those homes that do not have it can finally solve this issue.
The developed countries of the world may need to step in to fund development and build climate-friendly infrastructure in regions with less access to the necessary funds to build NPPs and other low carbon solutions, but to avert a climate crisis, is that not worth it?
Obviously, there are other challenges to electrification than just the building of power plants, power lines need to be hooked up, more dwellings need to be connected to the grid, electrical appliances and other devices need to be readily available, affordable and able to be installed, or otherwise there is no point, but that will all come with time.
The important thing is when that time does come will the reliable power plants that fuel those homes run on carbon emitting fossil fuels or on low carbon fissile material? Of course, a mixture of wind and solar with nuclear is never a bad thing but nuclear as the most reliable, energy source, therefore has an important part to play as well.
Sources for this Article: