Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Out with the coal, in with the nukes

    Poland is one of the most coal dependent countries in the world. 88% of the electricity generated for Poland is through the use of coal. In order to decrease their carbon emissions, Poland has decided to go with nuclear power plants. Nuclear energy is the most cost efficient plan for Poland. The government intends to build a three gigawatt nuclear plant. It is expected to cost about 16,178,100,000 billion dollars. They hope to have the plant completed by 2023. This would increase their spending on power infrastructures to 8.3-11.8 billion dollars a year on top of the current 18 billion dollars. After the plant is operational, Poland can generate money by connecting their power grid with neighboring countries and selling electricity. Poland believes that this plant would help them meet the EU requirements to reduce carbon emissions. In 2010, the UN signed a climate treaty that would hold the rise of global temperatures to below 3.6 Fahrenheit. However, the current carbon emissions make this goal unattainable.
    After reading these two articles, I believe that this would be a good idea for Poland. They are too dependent on coal as a source of energy. I always thought that nuclear energy should be the next step in using energy more efficiently, at least until we have cost efficient green energy sources. One of my biggest concerns with the use of nuclear power plants is the risk of a meltdown. If something were to happen to Poland’s plant, how would they respond? Japan is still struggling with issues at Fukushima Daiichi. The problems from Fukushima Daiichi are one of the main reasons that Japan will not meet its requirement to reduce carbon emissions. This makes me wonder what type of precautions the Polish government will take in order to prevent a disaster similar to Japan’s.
--Seung Shin

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