Tell me more about nuclear power as source of electricity.

Hi !

Fishes can't see the water they are in !
That's why I need your personal and external opinions and view.

The first source of electricity in my country (France) is nuclear.
In a previous forum, I've noticed that a lot of Citizen of USA consider Nuclear energy is too much polluting and too much expensive (democrats candidates for US election reject the idea of more nuclear plants), and that it's not seen as a serious solution to reduce pollution and CO2 emission, etc ... In few words : you seems to dislike it. So, I would like to know why exactly, and that you tell me more about what you think about it.

Here it's quite different. Nuclear energy is seen as a mean to be energetically independent. It's a mean to pollute less. And it's almost a local speciality, like are crepes, baguettes and croissants.

The main producer is EDF (which stands for Electricite De France (electricity of France)).
Until 1999, EDF had the monopoly (and that was better and safer IMHO). Since then, because of EU regulation, we've been forced to open the market ...

Here are some data :

EDF is one of the world's largest producers of electricity. In 2003, it produced 22% of the European Union's electricity, primarily from nuclear power:

  • nuclear: 74.5%
  • hydro-electric: 16.2%
  • thermal: 9.2%
  • wind power and other renewable sources: 0.1%

Its 58 active nuclear reactors (in 2004) are spread out over 20 sites (nuclear power plants). They comprise 34 reactors of 900MW, 20 reactors of 1300 MW, and 4 reactors of 1450MW, all PWRs.

In 2006 :

- nuclear : 85.7%
- hydro-electric : 5.0%
- thermal : 8.1% ( coal : 3.3%, gas : 3.2%, petrol : 1.6% )
- others renewable : 0.9% (wind, sun and co)
- others : 0.3%

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Ferrite9 years ago
I like the concept of nuclear power. The Limerick nuclear power plant is near my house and you can see the steam cloud for miles around, but it just looks like a cloud. I agree that there is a disposal problem, but why not launch it into space?
jtobako Ferrite9 years ago
What happens if it doesn't make it all the way? And Earth escape orbits are EXPENSIVE to achieve-both in reaction mass and cash!
In addition to what if it doesn't make it what if it explodes mid flight?
That's covered later : )
Ferrite jtobako9 years ago
If it doesn't make it all of the way, that means that the engineers that designed ti messed up (but if it didn't make it, it would be very very bad and probabley spread radiation all around the world, depending on the altitude when it blew up) and space travel is becoming cheaper as more private enterprises are starting up.
jtobako Ferrite9 years ago
So everything is the engineer's job: not the labor for assembly, or the lowest bid contractor for parts, or the meteorologist, or the pilot... There IS no private orbital insertion that I've heard of, so how could it be cheaper?
Ferrite jtobako9 years ago
Not everything, I was just using an example.

Not yet but there is several start up companies.

This linkhas a list of space related companies.
jtobako Ferrite9 years ago
Unfortunately, none are viable yet, so the price HASN'T gone down.
Ferrite jtobako9 years ago
Ya, but hopefully they will become viable soon so we can launch lots of stuff into space at a lower price.
jtobako Ferrite9 years ago
Near earth orbits are already crowded with junk. Next thing you know, any idiot with enough money is going to be adding their own, personalized message in a bottle and golf ball to the new wilderness... Humans, can't shoot enough of 'em : )
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