The subject of nuclear energy is one in which the opinions of the experts and those of the public differ most widely, and on which emotions are most strongly charged. Advocates assert that nuclear energy will effortlessly solve the climate emergency and usher in an era of limitless cheap energy and universal prosperity beyond our wildest dreams. Opponents claim that nuclear energy will turn the world into an eerily-glowing post-apocalyptic wasteland inhabited only by horrific mutants.
Between these extremes the experts — such as IPCC working group 3 and the International Energy Agency, working painstakingly and thoroughly through the scientific evidence and models — find that nuclear energy is a necessary part of mitigation efforts with any hope of effectively tackling climate change, but is not on its own sufficient; we also need renewables, Carbon Capture and Storage, energy efficiency, conservation, and reduction, and every other significant resource we can muster to deal with the emergency we find ourselves in.
There are a number of articles about nuclear energy on this site, including:
- What is nuclear energy? - what is fission, fusion, and radioactive decay, and what are the different types of fission reactors,
- How safe is nuclear energy? - what about Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island?
- How fast can we build nuclear? - doesn't it take too long to build? How does it compare with the speed of building other clean energy generation?
- Economics of nuclear energy - how much does it cost to build nuclear plants, and how much does the power they produce cost?
- Carbon intensity of nuclear energy - is nuclear really low carbon? How low?
- Expert assessments of nuclear energy - what do the IPCC, IEA etc say about nuclear energy?
- Public perception of nuclear energy - a collection of links to pro- and anti-nuclear pieces.
- Nuclear energy by state - articles about nuclear energy in various parts of the world.
- Hinkley Point C - articles about the EPR being built at Hinkley Point in Somerset
- EPR - articles about the "European Pressurised Reactor" / "Evolutionary Power Reactor" being built at Hinkley Point and elsewhere
- Hualong One - an evolutionary Chinese design of Pressurised Water Reactor which may be built at Bradwell in Essex
- KEPCO APR1400 - Korean PWR
- New nuclear reactor technologies - various types of reactor being developed or proposed
- Small Modular Reactors
- Molten Salt Reactors
- Fast breeder reactors - reactors that can create their own fuel and burn up radioactive waste
- Nuclear fusion - some articles about fusion
- Nuclear proliferation - does having nuclear energy make it easier or harder for states to build nuclear weapons?
- Nuclear radiation - what is nuclear radiation and how dangerous is it?
- Sustainability of nuclear fuels - how much Uranium and other fuels do we have?
- Nuclear waste - articles about the management and long-term disposal of nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel
- Nuclear decommissioning - decommissioning nuclear power stations etc
A list of all articles on Nuclear Energy can be found here.
Footnotes and references
- This may be an exaggeration of proponents' and opponents' positions. Or maybe not.