881103685_3850dae1cbThe serious events that occurred at the nuclear power plant >Fukushima have been a turning point in the international debate on nuclear energy. In a context characterized by the progressive increase in the price of oil and the worsening of climate change due to the combustion of fossil fuels, the nuclear industry hoped that public opinion would be less critical of this technology. The serious accident at the Japanese power station resulting from the combined impact of a strong earthquake and a tsunami has abruptly put an end to that hope.

China, Germany, Italy have frozen their nuclear programs for the moment and the rest of the international community has shown great caution. Watching one of the world’s most technologically advanced countries overwhelmed for days has reminded them that nuclear power is not safe enough. And that when a serious crisis breaks out, the risks are very serious.

Nuclear energy represents barely 6% of the total primary energy consumed in the world, a discreet 17% if we refer to electrical energy. In other words, compared to the message that is heard from some forums, nuclear energy supposes a reduced part of the international energy mix, it does not occupy a decisive place in it at all.

The civil use of atomic energy serves to generate electricity. It competes with combined cycle gas plants and renewables. The investment required to build a new nuclear power planthas traditionally been very high. The most recent in Europe, Finland, has invested 6,200 million euros – more than double the initially estimated budget. The construction is far from being finished and the matter is in the courts.

In Spain, the eight nuclear reactors produced 21% of electrical energy in 2010, barely three points ahead of wind power. The president of the Spanish Electrical Network, Atienza, has declared that in three years, the energy of the wind will produce more electricity than that coming from the atom. Renewables generated 35% of the electricity that year, favored by a good hydrological year. Nuclear energy is perfectly dispensable in the Spanish electricity system. The combined cycle park is oversized. The rational and sensible thing to do is to bet on a system whose pillars are efficiency and renewables and on gas as transition energy.

The nuclear accident that occurred in The Tree Mile Island (United States) in 1979 meant that in the following 30 years no new power plant was connected to the grid in that country. The Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986 halted the development of new power plants in Europe. Now, Fukushima has brought the impact of a major nuclear accident closer to Asia.
In Japan it has been shown once again that atom-based energy is essentially unstable and therefore unreliable. It has jeopardized the right to health of millions of people. The right thing to do is for the United Nations, through the World Health Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency, to request a nuclear moratorium from the international community while the technological and health standards of nuclear power plants are re-evaluated. from around the world.

You may also be interested in other opinion forums that I have published in the last 15 years on the subject:

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