The future of nuclear power

The infomation below has been taken from a guide that regularly publishes an spanish nuclear association called ‘Foro nuclear’ and that it is titled ‘La energía nuclear española’.

Society is constantly advancing towards a greater economic and social development. Globalization has encouraged relationships among countries in such a way that, nowadays and especially in the case of energy, it is no longer possible to establish national policies that do not take into account those in other countries.

20% of the world’s population consumes 80% of the energy resources. Almost a third of the world’s population, around two thousand million people, have no access to the transport and energy services that developed countries enjoy. The International Energy Agency estimates that the demand for primary energy in the world will increase by 50%, and the electricity demand will double up in the next fifty years.

In order to fulfill this demand increase, in the next few years it will be necessary to promote the construction of nuclear power plants with advanced reactors. Thanks to the thorough research that has been carried out in the nuclear area, nowadays we can talk about ultra safe nuclear power stations.

  Fig 1. Nuclear energy is one alternative, but not the only one, to replace fuel energy.

Moreover, there is a clear support of nuclear energy: at the moment, over 65 reactors are under construction in 15 countries, another 90 are planned and with compromised financing, and 200 more are at the proposal stage. This means that, in the next 25-30 years, the world’s nuclear park is going to undergo a spectacular increase, contributing to a satisfaction of the environmental sustainability, guarantee of supply and competitive electricity production challenges.

Together, the Spanish nuclear power plants possess over 250 years of operative experience, having operated in excellent conditions during the last years and often being first on the lists of the world’s best performing plants. Their role is irreplaceable in the energy that supplies the Spanish market, and they are a very important resource in the fight against the greenhouse effect and for the assurance of supply.

The Spanish nuclear industry is prepared for the international market, since in what concerns the construction of nuclear power plants all the technical structure of regulations, specifications, drafts, qualifications, performance and inspections.  There are many types of companies acting in the nuclear field, each one working on a different service of product:

-Electric companies: they are responsible for the construction of nuclear power plants and their operation. In the last decades, they have expanded their activity to the study of optimization and operation of the mentioned nuclear power plants.

-Nuclear system providers: they provide operation and maintenance support services.

-Engineering companies: making the most of their experience in the project and construction of thermal power stations, engineering companies have generated an important capacity of nuclear power plant engineering, supporting the management of new build plant construction as well as the operation and management of operating facilities.

-Equipment providers: This sector has been put together to the existing industry in Spain and it focuses in the manufacturing of nuclear equipment (especially, turbine generators).

In conclusion, despite of the critics that nuclear energy has received, it doesn’t seem that nuclear energy will disappear in the coming years. That’s why investing money and resources in nuclear research is so important; in order to develop nuclear engineering and convince the reluctant ones whit nuclear energy that safe nuclear energy does exist. However, it is extremely important that all the countries exploit these nuclear resources with responsibility and know-how; otherwise the longed upturn can blossom into destruction.

The picture below evidences that nuclear energy isn’t as dangerous as it is thought,  it actually has induced less deaths that many other safe-thought energies.  inf68.html



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