Nuclear energy – an energy dilemma?

Inspiration is a very interesting thing. Until now I was sitting a couple of hours on my laptop and was not able to come up with a new post for my blog and suddenly I see this tweet about a blast at a nuclear plant in Southern France – and I have my subject for today.

I am following the discussion about nuclear energy and it’s safety now for quiet some time. It is not really difficult to get familiar with the subject when you are coming from Germany. Since the green party was elected into the government in the late 90’s, energy policy has changed dramatically and it was decided to close down all nuclear plants by 2020 and look for alternative solutions to power the nation. A plan that a few more countries might consider in future years to come in light of the complications in some nuclear power stations after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan earlier this year.

Nuclear power plant.

Image via Wikipedia

The main argument pro nuclear power is that the energy demand is still increasing and other alternative energy resources are not able to provide the same cost/power ratio as well as degree of efficiency. However, according to a study by Harvard University in 2009, it would be possible to produce all energy on the globe from wind energy. This might not look really good to have wind turbines everywhere around, but it would be much safer than staying with nuclear power plants. And we all know what catastrophic effects a serious problem and explosion at a nuclear power plant can have – remember Chernobyl.

But what other options are there when producing energy?

According to the World Coal Association, most of the energy (41%) is still produced from coal and only 2% comes from solar, wind and other alternative energy resources. Isn’t it a shame that after so many years of research and investment this figure is still so low? It needs to be changed for a serious approach to cut CO2 emissions and to prevent our planet from overheating.

However, there are improvements and solutions that already exist and are practicable. They just need to become mainstream or even made mandatory for the energy industry. For example,  the Esbjerg power station  in Denmark, powered by coal, stores it’s CO2 underground instead fo blowing it into the air, and there are many more solutions that have the option to change our energy industry forever, either by using new energy resources than fossil fuels or inventions that reduce the actual energy we use to heat or light our homes and run appliances. Some of the exciting new things I have put together below:

I think we just to invest a bit more time and money that will be used to built new nuclear power plants into these new projects and we will find a way of not leaving our children and their children a huge amount of radioactive material that cannot be safely stored somewhere.

Are you supported of nuclear energy or do you like a change as well? Let me know. Please also let me know if you know any other great inventions that might help us with the energy dilemma.

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