The Energy Quarterly section of MRS Bulletin’s June issue discusses, in detail, the future of nuclear power throughout the world, starting with an editorial by Robin Grimes of Imperial College London. With the recent Japanese nuclear disaster, current and future nuclear nations are examining the options for nuclear powered electricity and maintenance of existing nuclear facilities, some of which are entering old age. Germany has decided to halt nuclear energy production1, whereas the French would prefer to continue with nuclear power.2 China and India, with emerging economies and large, growing populations, consider nuclear power a necessity. All of this must be tempered with the global situation regarding the availability of hydrocarbons and coal. The United States is also actively debating the future of nuclear energy. A projection of world energy demand is included below.
Can we learn from our failures and previous accidents? Although much can be done regarding introspections of safety rules and monitoring, there are numerous challenges for the materials community.
- Bernd Radowitz and Jan Hromadko, "Merkel:German Nuclear Exit Gradual; 2022 Irreversible End-date," The Wall Street Journal, Monday, June 6, 2011;
- Jon Palfreman, "Why the French Like Nuclear Energy", PBS: Frontline, June 2011;