Nuclear energy is turning increasingly green. With continuous improvements in safety standards and closed nuclear cycle a reality now, the atom is becoming a renewable source of energy. Russia is one of the powers working to develop the said technologies.
In the 21st century the environmental issues and depletion of traditional energy resources are forcing an increasing number of countries to turn to the so-called “green energy”, which harnesses the renewable sources of energy, including sunlight, wind, tides, hydropower, geothermal heat, etc.
- According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2015, some 23.4% of the global energy consumption already came from the renewable sources. IEA analysts expect this figure to go up to 28% by 2021 surpassing the volume of energy currently generated jointly by the US and the EU.
The problem is that the prices for green power remain fairly high.
- In 2016, the US Institute for Energy Research (IER) calculated that the energy generated by solar and wind power systems costs 2.5–5 times as much as the electricity produced harnessing traditional sources, and, on average, 3.5 times as much as energy delivered by nuclear power stations.
Russia has always had a dubious attitude towards green power, as this nation wields vast reserves of coal, gas and oil.
- “In the near future, despite the development of alternative energy, when you look at the economics and environmental standards, then there is no other source of primary energy in the world than natural gas. Well, perhaps there is nuclear energy, but there are also a lot of issues there and there are opponents of nuclear energy,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin in his interview to Bloomberg in September 2016.
Indeed, up to now, the nuclear industry has been regarded as one of the dirtiest and most dangerous sources of power. The nuclear accidents in Chernobyl and Fukushima had a role to play in this. For example, after the Fukushima-1…