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Why Nuclear Energy Is On The Verge Of A Renaissance

CNBC2022-06-07
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💫 Short Summary

The video explores the public perception and challenges of nuclear power, highlighting its safety advancements and role in zero carbon electricity. It discusses past nuclear accidents, the phasing out of nuclear energy in some countries, and the development of advanced microreactors for increased safety and efficiency. Innovations in reactor technologies by various companies and the pursuit of nuclear fusion as a cleaner energy source are also mentioned, emphasizing the potential for nuclear power to address climate change concerns.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
The segment discusses public fear and misinformation surrounding nuclear power.
02:11
Despite concerns, nuclear power has proven to be an emission-free and reliable source of electricity.
Elon Musk supports the use of nuclear power.
The United States relies on nuclear power for over 50% of its zero carbon electricity.
CNBC visits a prototype of a new nuclear reactor designed to be safer, smaller, and more portable, showcasing advancements in nuclear technology.
Challenges and Impact of Nuclear Power.
04:36
Accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima have influenced public perception.
The United States has lagged behind in nuclear power due to costs, construction time, and competition from natural gas.
Concerns about nuclear waste storage and disposal, with a focus on radioactive waste.
Some countries, like France, reprocess spent nuclear fuel; the United States is changing its view on nuclear power to meet climate goals.
Impact of Fukushima Disaster on Nuclear Energy Policies in Germany, U.S., and California.
09:16
Germany shifted away from nuclear energy post-Fukushima, opting for Russian natural gas.
Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in California faces closure amid debates about extending its lifespan.
Political and economic factors play a significant role in deciding to shut down nuclear power plants.
Despite concerns, there is support for nuclear energy due to its clean production, with growing support for building new plants in California.
The aftermath of the Fukushima disaster and its impact on the nuclear industry.
12:01
Over 160,000 people were evacuated, with 41,000 still unable to return home.
Cleaning up the plant may take 30 years, but radiation exposure is not expected to have significant long-term health effects.
The nuclear industry globally had to make substantial changes to improve safety measures post-accident.
Advanced nuclear reactors like microreactors, such as Marvel, are being developed for improved safety, operational performance, and cost-efficiency.
Microreactors offer resilience and versatility beyond electricity production.
16:47
High-grade heat is provided for various applications like chemical processes and district heating.
Safety features include automation for self-regulation and extensive shielding for protection.
The Marvel reactor utilizes sodium potassium eutectic coolant and uranium zirconium hydride fuel for enhanced safety and efficiency.
Challenges arise with the enrichment level of fuel, aiming for close to 20% without exceeding the IAEA limit for weapons use.
Advancements in nuclear reactor technology at Idaho National Laboratory with involvement from X-energy, NuScale, and TerraPower.
19:49
Development and deployment of reactors to offer competitive solutions globally, surpassing China and Russia.
Focus on scaling and commercializing nuclear fusion for more efficient energy production and reduced radioactive waste.
Construction of a fusion device prototype, Tokamak, in France as part of the ITER project set to be operational by 2025.
Despite skepticism, government and private sector show hope and commitment to address climate change promptly.