Friday, November 27, 2009

India: The Next Leader In Nuclear Technology?

India has been researching the use of nuclear technology at breakneck speed. India is relatively deficient in coal and it has a lot more thorium than uranium. Because of this, India is currently pushing the AEC reactor design, but it could just as easily develop the LFTR paradigm as well.

China is also planning a large build out for new reactors, but the Chinese are also pushing coal as well as there are quite a few large coal deposits in eastern China. The degree of innovation displayed by Indian nuclear researchers is impressive, as well as the fact that it could make India's economy a force to be reckoned with as cheap energy spurs technological development. In addition, India's nuclear program is not hampered with regulations against nuclear reprocessing like in the US. This puts America at a disadvantage once again as we risk being left behind in the dust in our failure to embrace clean nuclear energy.

Interestingly, when you look at many countries that have an abundance of coal such as the US, China, and Australia, they also have ample supplies of uranium and thorium. However, the availability of coal has lead to its promotion in the national policies of the energy agendas of these countries. This is in spite of the fact that coal causes massive amounts of pollution both from carbon dioxide and the contamination from heavy metals. Injuries and deaths from coal are also a common occurrence from everyday operation in the coal industry.

There really is no longer any reason for the continual use of coal as the baseload energy source of choice. We have had the technology to replace coal with nuclear power for decades, and new reactor designs such as the LFTR are even more impressive than traditional light water reactors. At this point, coal is the soot-covered chain that is holding us back from cheap, clean energy in the form of nuclear power.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it feels like you needed a much more incredible weekend as compared to my own, personal! ha lol, my partner and i invested that studying regarding finals. ughhh.
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