As of 2021, nuclear power accounts for 10% of the world’s energy supply. This figure has decreased by 3% since 2010. It is pointed out that nuclear energy, which has been used for a long time, will decrease due to various factors in the future.
In the past, with great expectations for nuclear power generation, countries around the world have been making efforts to manufacture new nuclear reactors. However, the situation changed when an accident occurred at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in the United States in 1979. It is said that the accident did not affect human life, but an anti-nuclear movement broke out in the United States. In addition, as the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in 1986 expanded radiation effects not only in the Soviet Union, but also in Eastern and Western Europe, public awareness of the nuclear risk was greatly increased.
The cost of damages from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident is estimated to exceed $200 billion, and the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant accident in 2011 is estimated to be from $470 billion to $660 billion in the entire decontamination of Fukushima Prefecture alone.
This means that the cost of nuclear power generation, as well as construction and maintenance costs, requires the state to prepare a huge amount regardless of whether a disaster is occurring or not.
The enormous cost of nuclear power generation is a barrier to entry, and most countries cannot install nuclear power plants. It is also expected that any country that intends to start developing nuclear power in the future will cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency and a group of nuclear power supply countries aimed at preventing nuclear proliferation. These agencies are strict regulations to ensure that nuclear technology is not useful for nuclear weapons such as India or Pakistan.
Nature argues that nuclear energy has been helpful for people’s lives for decades, but large-scale measures must be taken to maintain energy for life support, rather than focusing on new and renewable energy, which is cheaper and safer. Related information can be found here.