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28th April 2023 (6 Topics)

Should India consider phasing out nuclear power?

Context:

Germany has shut down the last of its nuclear power plants; France, the nuclear powerhouse of the world, is struggling to replenish its stock of ageing reactors.

Global Scenario

  • A lot has happened in the last two years. Particularly after the Ukraine war, nuclear power is seeing a renaissance.
  • South Korea’s new president has changed the energy policy and committed to increasing the share of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix to 30% by 2030.
  • Japan, which should have completely shut down reactors after the Fukushima (accident), is restarting them — 10 have been restarted.

Significance

  • Low carbon source: The value that nuclear provides is of being low carbon, firm etc. Firm power is the power that can be sent to the electric grid to be supplied whenever needed.
  • Cuts Import Bills: Nuclear energy will also relieve the nation of about $100 billion annually which we spend on importing petroleum and coal.
  • A reliable source of Energy: Nuclear power plants are capital-intensive and recent nuclear builds have suffered major cost overruns.
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