L15 - NATS 1840 Lecture 16 Comparative International...

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NATS 1840 Lecture 16 – Comparative International Adoption of Nuclear Power - Nuclear power represents the union of advanced physics with large-scale industrial technology - There were high hopes for nuclear power in the 1950’s, politicians, scientists and the public felt that nuclear power would make the menace of nuclear weapons worthwhile - That promise has largely remained unfulfilled, though we have only had a few large scale nuclear accidents, nuclear power has proven to be expensive, dangerous, litigious, and it provides a minority supply of worldwide power - There were hopes in the 1970’s that nuclear power would enjoy a renaissance, due to the oil crises, but this did not come to pass - Today there is a renewed interest in nuclear, often referred to as the “nuclear renaissance”, due to concerns about global warming - One of the key dilemmas to nuclear power still remains, nuclear power capacity entails potential nuclear weapons capacity, many nuclear reactors use high enriched uranium and produce tritium (12 yr ½ life) and plutonium - There are a number of nuclear weapon states: US, Russia, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan and North Korea - Israel is suspected to have nuclear weapons capacity, South Africa dismantled their program - Thus the concern is to balance access to nuclear power technology while restricting proliferation of nuclear weapons Current Status of Nuclear Power - We are operating at approximately 12% nuclear capacity in Canada, and we are considering increasing nuclear capacity, we also sell nuclear power to US, - Point Lepreau nuclear reactor in New Brunswick: Subsidized by Federal Government 50%
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