Nuclear power offers stable fuel supply: analysts

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 15:03

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (Biz Hub) — Nuclear power offers a low-cost continuous and reliable supply of power, contributing to clean air and low CO2 emissions, a senior research analyst for the World Nuclear Association said at an international conference that began yesterday (June 8) in Seoul.

The analyst, Ian Hore-Lacy, spoke at the 9th World Conference of Science Journalists held at the COEX Convention Centre in the Korean capital.

Also speaking at the conference, Jong Ho Lee, executive vice president of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, said that CO2 emissions from nuclear energy were equal to only 1 per cent of CO2 emissions from coal.

A stable nuclear power supply contributes to industrial competitiveness and national economic growth, he said.

Korea has 24 operating nuclear power plants, five under construction and four under planning, he said.

The country has used new technology to improve safety to avoid nuclear accidents such as the one that occurred in Fukushima, Japan, he said.

According to the World Nuclear Association, South Korea and Bulgaria receive more than 30 per cent of their power from nuclear energy, while the US, UK, Spain, Romania and Russia use about 20 per cent.

Before Fukishima, Japan relied on nuclear power for more than one-quarter of its electricity, and is expected to return to that level.

Among countries which do not host nuclear power plants, Italy and Denmark receive nearly 10 per cent of their power from nuclear energy.

Only eight countries are known to have a nuclear weapons capability, while 56 operate about 240 civil research reactors, over one-third of those in developing countries.

Thirty-one countries host over 435 commercial nuclear power reactors with a total installed capacity of over 375,000 MWe. This is more than three times the total generating capacity of France or Germany from all sources.

About 70 nuclear power reactors are under construction, equivalent to 20 per cent of existing capacity, while over 160 are planned, equivalent to half of present capacity.

Sixteen countries depend on nuclear power for at least a quarter of their electricity.

France gets around three-quarters of its power from nuclear energy, while Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia and Ukraine get one-third or more.

The five-day conference, held by the Korean Science Journalists Association in co-operation with the World Federation of Science Journalists, includes three plenary sessions, 40 academic sessions and keynote speeches by prominent journalists and scholars.

It also offers diverse programmes focusing on MERS-CoV and other emerging diseases, the recent earthquake in Nepal, and a new era of medicine with induced pluripotent stem cells. —VNS

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