Small nuclear reactors may be the key to a low-carbon future

Posted on Thursday 17th July 2014

Professor Martin Freer writes for The Conversation:

Take a hard look at the painful process of de-carbonising the UK’s electricity supply, and it’s clear that the options on the table are not great.

From the outset, changes to the system generate further problems to be solved. Decommissioning the most polluting coal plants is the place to start, but given that they contribute 30-40% of the country’s electricity supply, this leaves an energy gap that requires filling.

Could wind replace coal? The government has an ambitious programme for expanding domestic offshore wind, with the recently commissioned London Array off the East Anglian coast currently producing a world-leading 650MW. But as UK electricity demand ranges from 38-58GW, the energy generated by the London Array and other wind farms is a mere drop in the ocean of what will be required.

Read the full article on The Conversation