Three of the British governments most senior scientific advisors, Sir John Beddington, the government’s chief scientific advisor, David MacKay of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and John Perkins of the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, have released a report exploring the most nuclear intensive strategy that the government has proposed for reducing its reliance on fossil fuels by 2050.
The report suggests that in order for nuclear power to provide around two-thirds of the country’s power needs the UK must develop a huge number of new reactors, using technology that is currently still experimental and not used anywhere else in the world.
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In 2011 the government set out four potential plans that would enable it to reduce its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Vastly reducing the use of fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas will play a large part in the plans, and increasing nuclear power capacity is just one of the options for filling the gap.
Some of the technologies mentioned in the report include using: GE Hitachi’s Prism fast reactors to burn plutonium nuclear waste, a technology supported by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson; new reactors that run on thorium rather than uranium; and even nuclear fusion reactors.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
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