Financial speculation on uranium has begun. We are starting to talk about nuclear energy again, but many people are afraid.
On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl disaster marked the entire world and decreed the end of nuclear energy for many world governments.
The 2011 tsunami in Japan and the Fukushima accident terrified many people about nuclear power.
Fear of climate change will also make possible changes that seem impossible today. I believe the move to nuclear energy is one of them.
Switching to clean energies is now essential, but many of them aren’t enough.
Electricity is almost as important as food to humanity. Modern society could not exist without electricity. We will move from digitization to robotization, which will require more energy.
It is science fiction to suppose that solar panels or wind turbines alone can solve zero emissions by 2050.
In the coming weeks, I intend to analyze uranium thoroughly. In this article, I ask whether climate change can overcome the fear of nuclear energy.
How many countries are using nuclear power?
Despite the worldwide fear after the Fukushima tragedy, many countries built another 53 nuclear reactors. Therefore, the business of atomic energy and uranium appears to be very hot, despite the fear.
According to Statista, China hasn’t been affected by Fukushima or Chernobyl. China isn’t a model to follow, at least. But in the US, there are five nuclear power plants under construction.
Russia is building 8 nuclear reactors despite having substantial gas reserves to use. Greed overcomes fear or is fear of nuclear power unmotivated?
Some countries get their energy from nuclear power. France uses nuclear energy a lot. Other countries in Europe are quietly using atomic energy.
On the border with these countries are some of the significant nuclear-terrorized nations, such as Italy.
Many states in the U.S. use nuclear energy and produce thousands of gigawatts cleanly. In the U.S., nuclear power accounts for about 10% of the total energy supply. This percentage is about the same as Canada’s and the UK’s.
Australia has never produced energy through uranium. Australia hosts 33% of the world’s uranium deposits and is the world’s largest producer.
The debate has been very heated in Australia for many years, but the arguments against nuclear energy have always won over the others.
While many nations do not utilize nuclear energy, numerous mines are operational across the world.
Since the turn of the century, uranium has been extracted all over the world. The uranium mining history is fascinating, dating back to 1800. It was discovered in 1841 by the German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth, who named it after Uranus because it was found within the earth.
Are people scared of nuclear power?
People elect governments; voters should have the final say on important issues such as nuclear energy.
The NoVax movement during the Covid crisis showed that there are considerable interests in exploiting the masses on specific topics. I will not go into the scientific merit of the effectiveness of vaccines for Covid, focusing only on people’s fear.
I think that nuclear energy has been demonized for years, but it’s used today and may be indispensable. Will it be cleaned up and reevaluated through the media? Will politicians convince voters that this is the only way to reduce dangerous emissions for the planet?
Any energy has groups and lobbyists that attempt to drive public opinion. It’s like a political election; whoever spends the most money wins.
If we analyze the public opinion on nuclear energy thoroughly, we realize that sentiment is changing.
Based on the graph I posted above, since 1983, 35% of those in favor have gone to 53%, and in a short time, I think it will grow to over 60%.
Fear of climate change will push public opinion to favor nuclear energy. Eventually, people who hate nuclear power will feel guilty about their CO2 emissions.
Figuring out whether uranium is more damaging than coal, in the long run, is probably impossible, even for an expert in the field.
Nuclear plant disasters, rational fears?
I was a child when Chernobyl happened. For months, there were stories about the kids of Chernobyl, the health problems, and the possibility that the cloud would reach Europe.
There was an automatic link between the danger of nuclear energy and the misfortune that occurred. For my generation, it lasted for years, and I think it still exists today for many people.
As I said before, voters choose governments, or at least they should. Many voters who lived through that time will be against nuclear power, regardless. Let’s think rationally and make some considerations.
How many of us today are using electronic equipment built in Russia in 1987? Hope none.
In 2021, with the tech we’ve got, we won’t have another Chernobyl. Thirty-five years ago, investments in this sector never stopped. Technology has advanced so much that Chernobyl is a thing of the past.
So what about Fukushima? Here we had the internet, and the technology was not the Russian one of 1987. The safety system of the nuclear power plant had no significant problems with the earthquake.
It was the tsunami that caused the catastrophe. But once again, is it correct to demonize nuclear energy for an accident that occurred in one of the most absurd natural events of recent years?
In recent years, earthquakes have caused entire towns to collapse with hundreds of victims, but no one is afraid to live in their own homes.
In the United States, 42k people have died in road accidents. Still, no one dreams of eliminating road traffic, perhaps because it is impossible to do this or probably because there is no bicycle lobby.
The rise in prices of financial instruments linked to uranium confirms that the world is changing its mind about nuclear power; it is an unstoppable trend.
On the surface, politicians worldwide are talking about electric cars, solar panels, wind energy, but I believe many are considering the uranium option.
We need to cut CO2 emissions as quickly as possible, so we’ll have to look at every option. We can’t rule out using uranium as an eco-sustainable choice because of the potential for accidents.
In 1987, in Italy, 80% of the votes in a popular referendum were for the abolition of nuclear energy.
It is ridiculous to propose a referendum on such a sensitive issue only a few months after a terrible accident to exploit people’s feelings. These are the natural limits of democracy.
In Europe, many countries do not have functioning power plants, but neighboring countries have nuclear power as their primary energy source.
Evaluations on using this energy resource must consider the actual availability of uranium, the costs of extraction, and its disposal. However, producing clean energy requires enormous quantities of precious minerals. Deep-sea mining operations, which are very dangerous for the environment, have probably already begun in many parts of the world.
It would be absurd to reduce CO2 emissions and have a larger problem with radioactive uranium waste.