Nuclear power should be allowed a global renaissance, which could come complete with reactors that have replaceable parts as well as portable and ship-borne reactors, according to UK researchers.
Scientists from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London are suggesting a 20 year plan, to be implemented in two parts, to replace or extend the life of existing nuclear power stations and then accelerate the use of nuclear around the world by 2030.
They claim nuclear power can safely replace fossil fuels as the main source of energy for the planet, as gas and coal plants fall out of use.
“Imagine portable nuclear power plants at the end of their working lives that can be safely shipped back to the manufacturer for recycling, eliminating the need for countries to deal with radioactive waste,” said Imperial College’s Robin Grimes. “With the right investment, these new technologies could be feasible.”
The study insists that much more efficient reactors can soon be used, depending on technological advancement.
Most nuclear countries have what are called light water reactors, which use a small amount of uranium for energy that scientists say is an inefficient use of the material. They are suggesting the use of new reactors which are apparently 15 times more efficient in using the metallic chemical.
And replaceable parts can be introduced to nuclear plants that give them a 70 year existence, compared with the current 40 to 50 year lifespan, the researchers added.