Germany turn off its last three reactors. They are over 30 years old and provide 4% of its electricity needs. there France It produces 70% of its electricity from nuclear energy and has decided to start a “nuclear renaissance”.
What is the best decision? What does science really say about nuclear power? Is it true that those who oppose nuclear power are “like uncorrupt”? It could be such a large European nation Germany Going “against science” as some claim?
I have been involved in scholarly publishing for over 10 years and at first it was the subject of a few enthusiasts. Now it is becoming more popular but it is drifting worrying. Disclosure means telling the audience in a simple way and with the same rigor as the scientific article the knowledge already incorporated by the specialists, while highlighting the costs and benefits in a particular case.
the Vaccines They have saved countless human lives, but have we become uncorrupted by saying that the “Italian vaccine” was not helpful against Covid? The imitation of other countries does not always work in the specific Italian realities.
In relation to nuclear energy (and not only) I see a serious force Ideological and political propaganda It was passed off as a scientific generalization. Some people, because of their “social bubble,” believe they are protectors of a “truth” that only a select few can comprehend. They could go as far as wishing death on the unvaccinated or verbally attacking those who doubt that nuclear power in Italy is a good idea. “Father” Scientific Publishing, Peter AngelaThey took very strong stands against pseudoscience but never raised the bar or insulted anyone.
But back in France, it is often ideal as an energy haven Low carbon dioxide emissions. The average life of its 56 reactors is more than 35 years, which is indicative of reliability problems. Half of them were taken offline last year to repair stress corrosion damage. Energy production fell by 30% and France changed from being a traditional exporter of electricity importer. French state-owned electricity company EDF reported losses of €19 billion. The starting price per megawatt will now for the first quarter of 2024 be €419 in France versus €169 in Germany.
If France is going to continue with nuclear reactors, it has to come up with a plan for update them And build new ones in the coming years, as Macron announced. Doubts about the realization of this project come from nobody trusted source like financial timeswhich is certainly not the reference point for those who oppose large investments.
Reactors cannot be bought in the supermarket: they are only built in series thanks to an investment plan as large as the one currently in China or IndiaAnd not in Europe. For the French, it will be necessary to hire and train about 100,000 professionals in the next few years.
One of the most important things is seams. It takes many years to prepare specialized personnel who know how to work in all reactor contexts. Not surprisingly, the loss of skills compared to the 1970s and the resulting incomplete welds were the main cause of the reactor delay Flamanvillewhich has been under construction since 2007 and will (possibly) be completed in 2024, twelve years behind its expected delivery date.
The start-up of the first new French reactor is scheduled for the end of 2027 and the date (according to many very optimistic people) for the first energy production is in 2037, 14 years later.
Given the problems with the French project, it is no coincidence that he had to proselytizing among other European countries. Germany simply decided to give up 4% of nuclear energy and focus on it renewablewhich is in Very strong growth In the world. It’s a choice based on costs and benefits, not on “anti-science” or “environmental crime.” There is also an aspect that is often overlooked. The Russian state-owned corporation now dominates the nuclear fuel market and the nuclear industry Rosatom(Here is an article by nature energy Here’s one Informative).
There haven’t been any in this area yet Penalties Because of the opposition of European nuclear countries. We’re sure that after the gas it’s nice to run into another one dependence on nuclear energy from Russia?
Some argue that Italy’s atomic program would help “decarbonization” and “combating climate-changing emissions,” a topic that the younger generations feel particularly passionate about.
If France is going to have a tough challenge, then Italy, starting from the back, will be challenged more complicated. Let’s remember well that the French program envisages a good 14 years for the first energy production. In Italy it would take more, as you have to choose the locations of the plants. Assuming “everything goes well”, Italian nuclear power could produce something from the early 1940s and barely It will make a significant contribution by 2050. China, the country that builds the largest number of reactors in the world more than 30 years after the start-up of the first reactor (1991) produce only 5% of nuclear electricity (417 TWh). winds And pv On the other hand, although it started later (actually since 2008), it has already reached 15% (1180 TWh) with a record growth in 2022 (+20%, about 200 TWh).
Even starting tomorrow, it will be Italian nuclear Absolutely useless For the targets indicated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: 2025 for the peak in emissions, and 2030 for the half compared to 1990. Nuclear energy in Italy is also Harmful, by subtracting investments from renewable sources which, albeit limited, give the contribution instead. We need to reduce emissions as soon as possible, not start in 20 years.
So, there is one about nuclear power in Italy Anti-science propaganda Which hides problems, like the massive timing issue. dangerous because denial to the climate problem. Let us rely on science and not on those who sell ideological positions on science.
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