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Prospects of Nuclear Power Generation in Developing Countries

23/01/2011 13:15

 

Prospects of Nuclear Power Generation in

Developing Countries

 

The growing demand of energy for the burgeoning population worldwide has heightened the requirement of alternative sources of energies other than fossil fuels. Though renewable energy resources like solar, biomass, hydro and geothermal appear as environment friendly, replenishing sources of energy, a comprehensive solution appears far-fetched as far as large scale production and wide-spread dissemination is concerned when long term cost factors are taken into consideration. The situation is even severe in developing countries where the ongoing depletion of fossil fuels and the unwavering rise of population have further worsened the energy crisis.

Environmental issues, long term cost factors and safety concerns have been considered with respect to the generation of electricity using nuclear power.

Nuclear energy appears to be a long term environment friendly panacea to the much talked about problem of energy crisis in Developing countries.

 

At present the developing countries account for approximately 80% of the world’s population. By 2050 it is predicted that the figure will rise to about 86%. Inadequate supply of energy hinders the socio-economic development in these countries to a great extent. At present, the energy usage in

Bangladesh is 90% gas-based and a greater 42%of this limited resource is being utilized for electricity generation drawn on the basis gas consumption in different sectors of Bangladesh on a particular day in May 2009. According to an estimate, electricity demand is likely to grow by 15% in the next 15 years, meaning the country will have to increase the capacity to 8,000 MW by 2025. Present day gas resources suggest that the country will face deficit of 142 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) in 2011 and it will rise to 1714 mmcfd by 2019-20. The country will need to add 19,000 MW of additional power, causing the gas demand to spiral up to 4,567 mmcfd by 2019-20.Even if Bangladesh’s GDP growth remains as low as 5.5 percent till 2025. Hence dependence on gas would further exhaust this natural resource in the years to come, which would in the long run impede industrial growth and economic development. Energy from conventional sources should be searched on priority basis in developing countries. Electricity generation should be based on a source that can support large scale production, long term security and environment friendly solutions. So, productive utilization of nuclear energy has minimal impact on environmental pollution and also the costs are low as far as long term solutions are concerned. So nuclear power generation is the ultimate solution for the least developed countries to meet the growing demand of energies in the years to come.

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© Syed Bahauddin Alam, 2011