Energy, Society & Environment: Technology for a Sustainable Future

By David Elliott | Go to book overview

6

A nuclear renaissance?
Nuclear power and climate change
New nuclear technology
Waste management and reprocessing
A nuclear revival?

In the previous chapter we looked at some of the problems facing nuclear power and saw that the prospects for nuclear power had begun to look rather poor by the end of the twentieth century. However, for good or ill, nuclear power could make a come-back, on the basis of being a non-fossil energy source, with no direct greenhouse gas emissions. In this chapter we look at the new fission technologies emerging and also take a look at nuclear fusion, which some people see as a possible energy option for the longer term.


Nuclear power and global warming

The prospects for a nuclear revival were significantly improved by the turn of the century by the growing concerns about climate change. As we have seen, the climate change issue had first been raised in the early 1990s, but by 2000 it was being taken very seriously around the world. Nuclear reactors do provide a way of generating electricity without producing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, and so around the world there have been increasing signs of interest in the nuclear option as one possible response to global warming and climate change.

Could a renaissance of nuclear power rescue the situation? Perhaps the first point to make is that it is not strictly true that nuclear power does not generate any carbon dioxide. Unlike the other energy technologies, the

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Energy, Society & Environment: Technology for a Sustainable Future
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Tables xi
  • Boxes xiii
  • Series Editor's Preface Environment and Society Titles xv
  • Preface xix
  • Acknowledgements xxix
  • Abbreviations xxxi
  • Part 1 - Environmental Problems 1
  • 1 3
  • Further Reading 18
  • 2 19
  • 3 46
  • Part 2 - Sustainable Technology 67
  • 4 69
  • 5 91
  • 6 107
  • 7 129
  • 8 154
  • 9 176
  • Part 3 - Problems of Implementation 191
  • 10 193
  • 11 205
  • 12 219
  • 13 235
  • Further Reading 248
  • Part 4 - Sustainable Society 249
  • 14 251
  • 15 267
  • Further Reading 280
  • 16 281
  • 17 301
  • Appendix I 319
  • Appendix II 321
  • Glossary 323
  • References 325
  • Index 339
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