Nuclear 'is no substitute for renewable energy'

Nuclear 'is no substitute for renewable energy'

The energy sector is undoubtedly in the midst of a vital period in its history, and one body has taken the opportunity to warn chiefs throughout the sector that nuclear power is not necessarily the key to every issue. A spokeswoman for the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) explained that it should be remembered that nuclear power is not a renewable energy supply and should not be treated as one. Indeed, as uranium supplies continue to diminish and breeder reactor programmes fail, nuclear power "will not be able to make a long-term contribution" to the energy needs of a constantly evolving planet. She went on to note that nuclear solutions offer no fast or reliable answers to the energy market. After all, every nuclear power station that is planned and approved takes at least ten years to build, so it is difficult to make rapid progress. Despite these obstacles, the UK government is keen to utilise nuclear energy, along with its existing commitment to renewables. But this is a strategy that confuses the CAT representative. "Nuclear energy is not cost-effective with its high cost, long construction time, high environmental risk and problems resulting from waste management. It is an extremely expensive process that can only exist with government subsidy. In the UK, for example, the cost of dealing with the unwanted debris of the nuclear industry is officially estimated at about £43 billion," she stated. With so much expense associated, it may be wise for energy industry bosses to ensure their focus is spread across many types of power generation, including all those that offer a renewable nature. This may be the best strategy if long-term success is to be achieved by any particular body. The spokeswoman went on to suggest that another disadvantage of relying on nuclear power rather than renewable sources is that it tends to have a negative impact on the environment, human health in areas around plants and society as a whole.

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