Friday, January 11, 2008

Is nuclear energy the solution?

Morocco is considering the use of nuclear technology to produce electricity by the year 2017. It will be possible for it thanks to France its key economic and political partner. So the question isn’t if it is good to have nuclear energy, but if it is possible for all countries to acquire it as easily as acquiring any ordinary item.

Nuclear energy is the future for energy thirsty countries that can’t afford the rising oil bill. Currently nuclear energy doesn’t satisfy the bulk of energy needs even for industrialised countries, with the exception of France whose electricity production is mostly nuclear. There can be factories that can use nuclear energy for its production. But country the greatest pollutants, vehicles and planes are unlikely to be run by nuclear energy as the technology has not evolved in this direction yet.

It remains to see how oil lobby will react as declining independence on oil will threaten its future and the futures of the hundreds of workers employed in the sector.

For third world countries, they need political allies in the developed countries to provide them with it. They can buy as much oil as they can without being asked what they can do with it. But acquiring nuclear energy means their being under constant scrutiny for fear of using it for military purposes. Iran is a vivid example, whose nuclear program is at the centre of worries from countries opposed to its regime, mainly the USA.

While nuclear energy can be a solution. It is still a dream to see it totally replacing the other sources, mainly oil. At least when there is an oil disaster, like explosions, fire or leak in the sea, the damage is limited. When there is a nuclear disaster, the damage can be of greater magnitude transcending borders as it happened with Chernobyl.

So acquiring nuclear energy remains both a political and a health concern for the time being.

5 comments:

Ian Parker said...

I think from your name you are an Arab. Let me say straight away that I do not begrudge anone peaceful nuclear power.

The Arab world is hot and sunny. If you were to put the latest panels (that is printing onto polymer) on Arab roofs they would pay for themselves within a year. In Britain where I live this would be 5-7 years.

Abdelilah Boukili said...

Thanks Ian for your comment. Solar panels are scarcely used. In some rural areas, home electricity is generated by solar panels. But even this is still very restricted.

Looney said...

Abdelilah, I had worked in the nuclear power industry for a few years. I don't have anything against the technology, but what I learned is that projects of this magnitude of money always catch the interests of politicians. The result is that the needs of the project are secondary to the political needs and the corrupting influences are enormous. Of course, corruption is a science for the French, so no surprise that they are involved.

Abdelilah Boukili said...

You are right Looney. There is no economic policy without a political agenda. Some politicians are ready for any venture as long as it secures them staying in power. Global warming and taxation are just some example of the ambitions of politicians who use them for political gains.

MadameMonet said...

Well, here in Marrakesh, at our house, we have been experiencing power cuts on average of two or three times a week for about six hours each time. It's often in the evening, just after dark, until about 2 AM, or sometime after 2 AM, getting up at 5 AM with all lights off until after 7:30. It makes me sympathize with the people in Iraq!

I found at least one third of the kids in my school (who live in neighborhoods all over Marrakesh) having the same problems. They seem to be using rolling blackouts to keep the whole system from collapsing. A few people have not had any blackouts at all.

I started keeping track of who in my class was having blackouts at the same time as me. Last week, our power went out around 5 PM. At 6 PM, I called one student from my class who had a power outage at the same time I did the week before. He told me their lights were working just fine. The next morning at school, he told me their lights went out ten minutes after I called!

I think Morocco probably needs nuclear power (and my guess is, Iran does, too). On the other hand I worry--what about the diposal of nuclear waste? Will the power plants in Morocco be properly maintained to world standards?

What do you think? Have you been experiencing any outages? I think the demand is starting to far outstrip the supply of electricity here.

Madame Monet
Writing, Painting, Music, and Wine
winewriter.wordpress.com