New Tech Is Helping Nuclear Power Make a Comeback



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New Tech Is Helping Nuclear Power Make a Comeback - Singularity Hub

Nuclear power has a lot going for it. It’s carbon-free, can produce huge amounts of power from relatively small amounts of fuel, and once plants are built, they’re cheap to run. But containing the powerful nuclear processes at its heart is incredibly complex, which means building plants is expensive and catastrophic failure is always a possibility. That’s not to mention the highly radioactive waste produced by current technology.

These factors, combined with hardening public opposition to the technology following the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the emergence of wind and solar as carbon-free alternatives, have seen the industry’s fortunes fade in recent years. This was epitomized by the 2017 bankruptcy of Westinghouse, one of the world’s leading nuclear power companies.

That slump has caused concern among some experts, including many who previously opposed nuclear power. UN researchers say increased use of nuclear power is crucial if we are to limit global warming to 1.5C, a target that’s already looking ambitious.