With the growing needs of the modern world in energy a lot of questions can be asked as to how it should be produced. In the 1970’s France made a decision to heavily rely on nuclear energy for its needs. It is now the country in the world that uses the most nuclear energy. This type of production remains a very controversialsubject and a hot topic. Many oppose it and address its major flaws. This paper will try to assess the pros and cons of nuclear energy, taking for basis of study France, its history with nuclear power plants, what can be learned from it and the questions behind construction of the EPR, a third generation generator.
This study will in major part use sources from the internet, although if foundsources from other types of media will be used.
My objective is to conduct a non biased study, taken into account all possible opinions, pros and cons of nuclear energy. Biased sources such as Greenpeace will be avoided. Independent and factual sources will be proposed. After the explosion of Chernobyl in 1986 serious issues concerning nuclear energy have been raised. Nuclear energy production canbe viewed as being dangerous, having a detrimental effect on the environment through waste production, as well as being non cost-effective. On the other hand some view nuclear energy as the solution to energy needs. It can be viewed as acting to reduce CO2 emissions, as being very cost-effective and providing a reliable and stable source of energy. Other types of energy production methods mightalso be looked into and put in comparison.
I plan to use a word processor for this study, or possibly PowerPoint.
Nuclear energy for the future?
Study based on energy prodruction in France.
“In 2007 French electricity generation was 570 billion kWh gross, and consumption was about 447 billion kWh - 6800 kWh per person. Over the last decade France has exported 60-80 billion kWh net each yearand EdF expects exports to continue at 65-70 TWh/yr, to Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and UK. Imports are relatively trivial. France has 59 nuclear reactors operated by Electricite de France (EdF), with total capacity of over 63 GWe, supplying over 430 billion kWh per year of electricity (net), 78% of the total generated there. Total generating capacity is 116 GWe, including 25 GWehydro and 26 GWe fossil fuel.” (Information and map taken from <<www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf40.html>>”
France disposes of 58 nuclear energy plants, providing 79 percent of its electricity.
There are three major advantages derived from nuclear energy use in France. It reduces France’s CO2 emissions; without it, it is estimated that emissions would increase by 30percent. It also guarantees France’s independence, relying on its own electricity for half of its needs. Lastly it also lowers the price of electricity, guaranteeing its competitiveness compared to electricity produced through standard thermal power plants.
When comparing CO2 emissions with its nearby neighbors, it is obvious that nuclear contributes to reducing them.
COUNTRY | France |Germany | U.K. | Italy | E.U. |
CO2 emission(ton/person) | 1.6 | 2.7 | 2.5 | 2.0 | 2.27 |
Nuclear production also assures French electricity to remain competitive. Standard electricity price, produced through standard fossil fuel based thermal power plants, is very dependent on the price of these fossil fuels. Being volatile prices often vary,whereas French prices remain often the same. This competitiveness ensures that France exports a lot of its electricity therefore satisfying financial needs. Nuclear energy also produces a large quantity of energy compared to the surface needed for production. In comparison 5 percent of France’s territory would need to be covered with wind turbines to fulfill the country’s energetic needs.