Nuclear Power: Myth and Reality. Second Edition

If you listen to people talking about some sort of renaissance of nuclear power, you may be under the impression that the number of new nuclear power plants is growing rapidly. Indeed, statistical data show us 60 plants under construction, with the majority in China and the remaining ones in Russia, India, South Korea and Japan. The USA has one project.

In reality, however, the number of nuclear power plants in the world is in a steady decline. There are currently 436 reactors in use. In the next 15–20 years the number of old plants that are being commissioned out of use will exceed the number of new ones coming into operation. Not all construction plans will be implemented. The more power markets are open to free competition, the less chance does nuclear power stand.

Construction of nuclear power plants is expensive and hazardous (there is the issue with waste dumping and the technology being potentially accident-prone), and the threat of uncontrollable spread of nuclear technology grows as the number of nuclear power plants does. Prolongation of the service life of current plants and construction of new ones would significantly slow down the development of renewable energy sources. The statement that nuclear energy and renewable energy sources complement each other is a myth. They do not just compete for small investment capital and power networks; due to their unflexible work mode, nuclear power plants restrict the development potential of wind power.

No matter how you look at it, nuclear power cannot unequivocally protect the environment and is not required to ensure reliable power supply. Conversely, those who truly want to develop renewable energy sources absolutely have to speak out against construction of new nuclear power plants or extension of life service of the existing ones. Nuclear power is unfit for the transition period before the age of solar power.

The publication is available only in Russian.

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Heinrich Boell Foundation Kyiv Office — Ukraine and Ecoclub Rivne
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