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This blog is aimed at tracing the world news related to nuclear power development internationally and in particular countries. Being an independent resource, we accept all kinds of opinions, positions and comments, and welcome you to discuss the posts and tell us what you think.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More nuclear power OK'd: G8 calls it an 'essential instrument' in cutting use of fossil fuels

The Group of Eight leaders gave the green light Tuesday to expanded development of nuclear power, saying it is a vital energy source in the fight against global warming.

But they warned that further development of nuclear plants must adhere to nonproliferation standards.

"A growing number of countries have expressed interest in nuclear power programs as a means to addressing climate change and energy security concerns. These countries regard nuclear power as an essential instrument in reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and hence greenhouse gas emissions," the leaders said in a statement on environment and climate change.

At the same time, the G8 leaders said those nations wishing to pursue atomic power must assure the international community that nuclear materials are tightly controlled and not diverted for arms.

"We reiterate that safeguards (against nuclear nonproliferation), nuclear safety and nuclear security are fundamental principles for the peaceful use of nuclear energy," the statement added.

Some 29 countries worldwide have indicated they wish to introduce nuclear power, while countries that currently use the energy source, especially Japan, the United States and Russia, have announced plans to expand capacity. In a separate report on global energy security principles, Japan said it plans to increase nuclear power generation to as much as 40 percent of total electricity generation by 2030.

However, plans to continue to build not only conventional uranium-powered plants but also a spent fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, and to promote plutonium-burning fast-breeder reactors have long been a source of controversy within and without the G8.

Antinuclear activists and environmental NGOs have dismissed G8 plans to increase reliance on nuclear power as a solution to climate change, while nonproliferation experts and many IAEA officials have expressed concerns about increased proliferation.

"All this talk of a worldwide nuclear renaissance is just that. The reality is that no new plants have come on line in years, and given the huge investment and long time frame it takes to start up a nuclear power plant, it's unrealistic to think that they can help alleviate climate change anytime in the future," said Jurgen Maier, a German NGO representative.

(Source: Electric Light & Power)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There has been quite a power struggle going on amongst 'the elite' over nuclear power. It is worthy of a book on the machinations.

There are those who are true believers in global warming from carbon emissions. And some of those see nuclear as an incredible fortuitous way to reduce their nation's carbon footprint while still providing the same amount of electricity to its citizens or even increasing production.

But there are others who just view the global warming meme as a way to push their radical ideologies. Such as ludditism, agricultural collectivism, top down control eg.. rationing. For those people they have been fighting nuclear power for a decade, because allowing it would defeat the entire purpose of what they are doing. But the pro-nuclear side seems to have really gained support especially in this recent energy crisis and maybe even 'critical-mass' of momentum.