Thursday, June 2, 2016

Doing Justice to Nuclear Energy Discourse

The discourse of nuclear energy commonly gives no justice in society.

The tendency of the public to believe and hold dearly to the myths of nuclear energy instead of facts and figures is nauseating.

All those myths about nuclear energy are portraits in the way similar to how political establishments using racial and religious cards to capture the public vote and support, as they keep repeating the image of Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi to ignite fears among the public sphere.

One of the factors that help to escalate those concerns is people tend to drive by narrow sentiments and ideology instead of opening up their minds to hear the rational and empirical reasoning and involve in the healthy debate on nuclear energy.

One thing we understand here is, the discourse of nuclear energy is contradicting to climate discourse.

It is supposedly putting in this way — the more someone knows about the environment, the more they will be worried about it. In the nuclear energy discourse sphere, the more someone knows and understand about nuclear energy, the less worried they would be.

Nuclear energy is absolutely and undeniably a clean energy; therefore, it is part of the climate solution.

In many senses, nuclear energy is the cleanest of renewables.

It does not produce GHG emissions, which are harmful to the population and the environment.

All the findings from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Energy Agency (IEA) and much more, empirically proved nuclear energy as the cleanest energy compares to other types of renewable energy.

This will bring our discussion to the other premise, that are nuclear energy is an answer to the climate puzzle which we are facing at the moment.

Nuclear energy is proven as an essential part of climate solution which we should not take for granted, for which we need to keep the global average temperature within 2°C.

To achieve this target, at least 80% of the world’s electricity must be low-carbon by 2050, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Therefore, we need to use all available low-carbon sources, including utilising and accelerating the development of nuclear energy if we want to solve this climate challenge.

Solar and the wind is clean energy too, but nuclear is the only proven clean, proven constant and proven reliable energy — thus far.

Today, according to IEA, 68% of the worldwide electricity generated comes from fossil fuels, which are 41% from coal, 21% from gas and 5.5% from oil.

At the same time, 13.4% of electric generated coming from nuclear fission and 19% from hydro and other renewable sources.

13.4% of total global electricity generations and it stretch for almost five decades?

I should put it as a strong statement to claim that nuclear is the only energy source which is clean, low-carbon and importantly, constant and reliable, for doing its job to deliver electricity — something solar and the wind and any other renewables is not capable yet.

Simple, they are inconstant.

The real question now is how are we going to generate electricity with low-carbon and clean energy and at the same time, capable and reliable enough to supply the demand, in which IEA predicts that global electricity demand will increase between 80% and 130% by 2050.

People need electricity and day by day, the amount of population increase exponentially.

At the very same time, the climate problem is more edging minutes to minutes.

The production of renewable energy is not growing at a fast enough pace to replace fossil fuels; the wind, wave and solar simply cannot provide the quantities of energy required.

It is possible — indeed, desirable — to combine nuclear power with other renewables, but nuclear energy is a crucial part of that mix as the only option capable of producing the quantity of energy required.

Nuclear power is actually more efficient than any other source of energy: a gramme of Uranium-235 contains as much energy as four tonnes of coal.

The only answer we got is we have to act, and we believe nuclear energy is our best bet to respond to these.

Therefore, the first step should we take from here is, doing a justice towards nuclear energy discourse — keep people informed.


Part 1: Doing Justice to Nuclear Energy Discourse
Part 2: Inquiring Explicit Perspectives on Nuclear Energy Prospect in Malaysia
Part 3: Way Forward for Malaysia Go Nuclear Program