I had written in yesterday’s post how successful France is with nuclear power. 75% of their country is supplied by splitting atoms and they have enough excess to qualify as the world’s largest exporter of electricity.
Safety and waste concerns aside, why wouldn’t carbon-free nuclear energy be the answer to global warming and ending the carbon crisis?
The simple answer is supply. There’s just not enough fuel.
Currently nuclear provides about 1 terawatt of electric energy (a terawatt is a trillion watts). The world consumes 15 terawatts and is on a steady increase each year, as populations expand.
According to Scientific American there is about a 200 year supply of uranium based on current consumption. According to the World Nuclear Association, even less, around 90 years. Using the higher number of 200 years, if we were to somehow shift to nuclear overnight, that amount dwindles to a 14 year supply. And energy needs are rising, not falling.
Long term, nuclear’s not the answer.