On Monday 12 November, Oxford University emeritus professor of physics Wade Allison will give a public talk at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology in Oxford, entitled “When fear kills: the case of nuclear energy”. His talk – and the arguments that are expressed – demand a wider audience than just Oxford medical students. Allison, together with Anton van der Merwe, a professor at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, wrote a letter published in the Financial Times on 29 October making the case that policymakers should focus on building nuclear plants. The reasons are quite stark. Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at the FT had argued that, in order to minimise the risk of catastrophic climate change, net greenhouse gas emissions needed to be reduced rapidly to zero. But, the academics ask, how may this be achieved with any confidence? It can’t be by relying on alternative energy sources, for two reasons. First, low energy density from alternative sources means that unfeasibly large – country-sized – installations of solar panels, wind farms and hydroelectric systems would be required. These would be immensely damaging to the environment.
IPE 9th Nov 2018 read more »
Amid devastating climate change and carbon emissions, governments around the world have been exploring alternative sources of energy to meet growing demand. While nuclear energy could play an important role as a low-carbon energy source, a lack of supportive policies and high cost of implementation have kept that from happening, according to a study by the MIT Energy Initiative. The study, released in September, found that if nuclear power is incorporated into the mix of energy sources on a global scale, not only could the world’s increasing demand for energy be met, but climate change could be addressed in a significant way. Professor Jacopo Buongiorno, who co-chaired the study and heads the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, spoke to host Sabri Ben-Achour about it. Below are edited excerpts from their conversation.
Marketplace 9th Nov 2018 read more »
The UK government has updated its policy paper on advanced nuclear technologies, which it says have the potential to play an important part of its Industrial Strategy. Energy Minister Richard Harrington first announced the policy at the Nuclear Industry Association’s annual conference last December. At the Commercialisation of Small Nuclear in the UK event held this week at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, England, Harrington announced further information on commitments made in the Nuclear Sector Deal. Launched in June, the Nuclear Sector Deal aims to deliver: a 30% reduction in the cost of new build projects by 2030; savings of 20% in the cost of decommissioning compared with current estimates by 2030; 40% women in nuclear by 2030; and a more competitive supply chain equipped to win domestic and foreign contracts of up to GBP2.0 billion (USD2.6 billion) by 2030. Harrington announced the intention to open the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process for small and advanced modular reactors in the new year, with registration for expressions of interest opening before the end of the year. In preparation for this, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the UK regulators will aim to hold a GDA workshop in due course to engage with stakeholders.
World Nuclear News 9th Nov 2018 read more »