World builds new nuclear power plants

World builds new nuclear power plants

By Ellada Khankishiyeva

Despite the fact that relating to the accident at the Japanese Fukushima nuclear power plant seriously undermined people's confidence in nuclear power up to the point of abandoning functioning nuclear projects, some countries on the contrary, want to build their own nuclear power plants.

According to the World Nuclear Association, of those contemplating to begin construction in the next five years, 29 countries of the world plan to begin construction in the next five years of 154 nuclear power blocks, but in the long term (construction will begin in the next 15 years), 36 countries want to increase this number to 342.

Among these countries is Turkey which is resolved to building a number of nuclear power plants. Thus, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said Turkey is in talks to build nuclear power plants with the three countries on three different models. Turkey has already signed an agreement with China, South Korea and Russia on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The first Turkish nuclear power plant will be built on the Akkuyu site.

This means that Turkey will be the second country in the Middle East to have a nuclear power plant. Today, the Iranian Bushehr nuclear power plant is the one in Iran and throughout the Middle East. It will operate at full capacity (1,000 MW) in the early summer of this year and will produce from 720 to 730 megawatt hour which is 75 per cent of the final potential of the station.

Of the former Soviet Union countries, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Lithuania have plans to build nuclear power plants, while Ukraine and Russia, which already have 15 and 33 nuclear power plants, respectively, wish to increase their number.

The only justification that the number of nuclear power plants in the world is growing, even in view of their potential danger, is the ever growing demand for electricity, the demand for which is growing year by year. And nuclear power plants currently are among the main suppliers of cheap electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

The operational principle of nuclear power stations is very simple - this is a common conversion of thermal energy into electrical energy, but at the same time nuclear power is a global security threat to humans and the environment.

At present, many scholars hardly question the relevance of the use of atomic energy. Today the third generation of reactors is being built, even in earthquake zones and yet there is wariness about the nuances of the individual stations under specific conditions.

For example, Metsamor NPP in Armenia which does not meet modern standards in Armenia, built in 1976, is located in a seismically active zone. That's why it becomes a source of threat to the region. This was repeatedly stated by Azerbaijan and Turkey. Turkey is going to address the IAEA with the proposal to close the Armenian nuclear power plant motivating it by security reasons. The Turkish side is planning to initiate the closure of all stations with an expired use.

The international community led by the U.S. and the EU also exerts a significant pressure on the Armenian government to withdraw the existing nuclear power plant in Metsamor from operation. Mankind has survived major accidents after which some areas of the earth have become unfit to live. According to official data in Belarus, the most affected by the Chernobyl disaster was in neighbouring Ukraine, where more than 2.5 per cent of the population are registered for cancer, but Armenia is in no hurry to abandon its nuclear power plants.

Once again the excuse is that at this point in the world there is no alternative to nuclear power plants since nuclear energy is a highly efficient form of electricity generation and alternative schemes are too expensive and have very high overhead costs, including environmental ones. Early decline in demand for electricity is also not expected; hence the interest in nuclear power in the world is will not soon fade.
 
 
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20.04.2012
 
 
 

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