Is Nuclear Power the Solution?

Is Nuclear Power the Solution?

Global company Rolls-Royce has been granted permission to build and supply mini nuclear reactors for use in the UK. The government has backed this by giving £210m towards the project, in the hopes of hitting net zero “more quickly”.

A once in a lifetime opportunity

This news came in the middle of the COP26 summit in Glasgow and could be a replacement for fossil fuels. These smaller reactors have the potential to be cheaper and easier to manufacture (make) as they can be transported to site (where these machines would go).

The proposed site for this is in the Midlands and North of England. Although the reactors are smaller, one would be able to power 1 million homes.

Business and Energy secretary Kwasi Kwartery said “By harnessing British engineering and ingenuity, we can double down on our plan to develop more home-grown, affordable clean energy in the country”.

This project would not only benefit the climate but could also “help to create about 40,000 jobs“, said Rolls Royce – SMR.

Could this be the solution?

Some people believe that nuclear power should play a larger role in the global energy mix and that it would help the UK reach net zero targets. Furthermore, if the government is going to fully commit to the use of nuclear power, they could be in use by early 2030.

However, there is of course controversy around if this is the right replacement for fossil fuels. Even though it is described as a “clean” source, it does have its own dangers as Dr Doug Parr, Greenpeace’s chief scientist said. He stated ” still no solution to dispose of the radioactive waste they leave behind and no consensus on where they should be located”.

He also added, “What’s worse, there’s not even a prototype in prospect anytime soon,”. “The immediate deadline (when something has to be ready for) for action is sharp cuts in emissions by 2030, and small reactors will have no role in that.

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