[LETTER TO THE EDITOR]Nuclear turnaroundAround the world, governments are taking a hard look at their energy policies. Soaring fossil fuel prices, combined with increasing concerns over poor air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, are forcing governments to find alternatives to coal, oil and natural gas to support their growing populations and economies. Increasingly, these governments are turning to nuclear energy as the solution for economic, reliable and clean electricity.
Evidence is mounting that new nuclear plants are on the horizon. In Western Europe, countries are backing away from planned phaseouts, Finland is building its first nuclear plant in more than 25 years, and the UK is exploring the life extension of existing plants. The turnaround is also striking in North America. In the United States, incentives ― production tax credits and risk insurance ― for building the first new nuclear plant in a generation have been included in comprehensive national energy legislation. In Canada, the Minister of Energy for the province of Ontario recently acknowledged that the province would have to decide how many and where new reactors would be built. In the Canadian province of New Brunswick, the government recently approved the refurbishment of its Point Lepreau CANDU 6 nuclear plant, with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited as general contractor.
The impact of the decision in New Brunswick will echo here in Korea. Korea has one of the most successful nuclear programs in the world and 40 percent of Korea’s electricity is fuelled by nuclear energy. Plants are run safely, reliably and economically.
by R. DeGregorio