Sustainable nuclear energy: Is it an option?

Not many people know the existence of the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform SNETP and its links with the EU. The same occurs with the “sustainable nuclear energy” concept.

A good clue to know about SNETP is a 2007 European Commission (Directorate General for Research. Euratom) report: «The Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform. A vision report».

According to EU, three objectives characterize the sustainability of nuclear energy:

CC0 Public Domain by Gerd Altmann • Freiburg/Deutschland

These objectives are achievable through Generation IV reactors´ technologies coming for commercial use around 2030. These have mainly to do with:

  • The use of low-enrichment fuels, useless for military technologies
  • A hundred to three hundred times more efficient fuels
  • Reduction of the nuclear waste life, from millennia to a few hundred of years
  • Closed nuclear fuel cycle: consumption of nuclear waste in the production of electricity

If these objectives become real and considering that:

  • Fossil fuels cause, every year, thousands of premature deaths by heart and lung diseases in Europe.
  • Nuclear energy is free-carbon.
  • Unlike to renewable sources, nuclear technology guarantees a constant around-the-clock production of energy.

Could, sustainable nuclear energy, be considered an option to complete renewable energies? EU seems to do it.