Nuclear Power to Become Crucial in Achieving the UK’s Carbon Target
The use of nuclear power will always be controversial, but new developments in the industry and the 2008 Climate Change Act, which requires the UK to reduce its carbon emissions by 80% of its 1990 level by 2050, means that politicians are seeing it as a way to help achieve climate change goals. Although groups, such as Greenpeace, have objected to the increased use of nuclear power, a great deal of research using radiation resistant equipment is taking place worldwide to make nuclear power cheaper, safer and faster to install. As such, the UK government has big plans for it as part of its climate change strategy.
Minister of Energy and Climate Change, Andrea Leadsome, addressed the Nuclear Industry Association conference in June saying, “Your industry is key to delivering our vision of the clean, affordable, safe and reliable energy British consumers and businesses need and vital to keeping the lights on in the decades ahead.” She continued, “Nuclear power is also one of the cheaper forms of low carbon electricity...emitting similar levels of CO2 to renewables over the life of the plant.” Her department is keen to exploit these benefits and plans to change legislation to make it easier for new nuclear power stations to be built.
Greenpeace, however, is not so enthusiastic about the expansion of nuclear power and lists the following concerns as reasons why it should be halted:
- Safety – activists reference Chernobyl
- Security – nuclear power stations present targets for terrorists
- Waste Disposal – disposing of nuclear waste is difficult, dangerous and costly
- Cost – building and running nuclear power plants is extremely expensive
- Pulling Focus – investment and research into nuclear power could take it away from renewable power sources
On the other hand, scientists including Prof Ian Fells, emeritus professor of energy conversion at Newcastle University, suggest that new developments, such as the creation of Small Modular Reactors, could overcome many of these concerns. These plants are much smaller than conventional power stations, can be mostly prefabricated in factories, work alongside renewable power sources, pose far less of a risk of catastrophic accident and present less of a target for terrorism. As such, they are considerably cheaper, faster and safer than conventional nuclear power plants, they claim.
Whether the future of nuclear power lies in Small Modular Reactors or other new scientific breakthroughs in the industry, research into this area is more important and prevalent than ever. Stepper motors, which are resistant to radiation, are essential to this research and those made by AML are tried and tested in these environments. To find out more about them call today on 01903 884141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.