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Ken Griffin, founder and chief executive of hedge fund Citadel, has called for more investment in nuclear power in the West.
“China is one of the few countries making a huge investment in nuclear again,” Griffin said, speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, as quoted by the agency. “We desperately need nuclear power in the West.”
Indeed, nuclear energy has been touted by its proponents as one of the best ways of reducing carbon dioxide emissions in a reliable way since nuclear power plants produce baseload rather than intermittent power.
However, opposition against nuclear has also been strong, especially in Europe. At a recent discussion about the role of nuclear power in the energy transition, several non-government organizations claimed nuclear has no place in the net-zero grid because of significant construction delays, cost overruns, and reliance on Russian uranium.
Yet nuclear power also has some notable supporters, including the International Energy Agency. A vocal advocate of wind and solar, the IEA also says that “they need to be complemented by dispatchable resources.”
The agency also notes that nuclear power is the second-largest generator of low-carbon power after hydropower, which makes it suitable for ensuring “secure, diverse low emissions electricity systems.”
Perhaps the most notorious nuclear power opponent, meanwhile, is Germany’s current government. Despite popular opposition from Germans, the government switched off the last three remaining nuclear power plants in the country several months ago, claiming wind and solar would be able to make up for the lost generation.
Time proved they could not and Germany was forced to reopen coal power plants and a coal mine to ensure energy supply—at a much higher price than what its three nuclear power plants would have needed.
China meanwhile plans to approve between six and eight new nuclear power plants annually in the foreseeable future.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com