Nuclear Power A Long Term Electricity Supply Strategy: “If additional electricity generating capacity is urgently needed, gas, oil or coal fired power plants can be planned and constructed more quickly than nuclear power plants.
This is due to the fact that the planning and execution of a nuclear power project require longer lead times and also pose special demands on related infrastructures.
Such an approach of quick addition of fossil fuel power plants for urgent needs is possible provided the country is endowed with, or has easy access to fossil fuel energy resources.
However, this approach cannot be a continuing and long-term solution from environmental considerations of CO2 releases from the fossil fuel power plants.
Nuclear power is considered to be a valid option for electricity generation if its special characteristics are taken into account and the requirements it poses can be met, especially for the maintenance of a very high level of safety”.
A nuclear power program should be viewed within a medium to long-term electricity supply
strategy and with potential economic benefits for the country.
The program should produce stability in power generation and electricity price, and an important impact in the domestic industry.
The potential economic benefits of the use of nuclear energy for the production of electricity include a certain buffering against escalating fossil fuel prices, which therefore helps to maintain the long-term stability of electricity prices.
An important consideration to be made by developing countries thinking to introduce a nuclear power program, particularly in the case of the Latin American countries is “the influence of a national nuclear power program in increasing the technological level of the country and enhancing the global competitiveness of the domestic industry.
The participation of the domestic industry could help to speed up a nuclear power program”.
A progressive growth in the participation of national energy industry of a given country in the development of a nuclear power program for electricity generation, which is one of the man objectives to be reached as result of the introduction of a nuclear power program, could be the following:
a) “As a minimum, local labour and some construction materials are used for non-specialised purposes on-site, especially civil engineering work.
b) Local contractors take full or partial responsibility for the civil engineering work, possibly
including some design work.
c) Locally manufactured components from existing factories are used for noncritical parts of the balance of plant.
d) Local manufacturers extend their normal product line to incorporate nuclear designs and
standards, possibly under licensing arrangements with foreign suppliers.
e) Factories are set up to manufacture heavy and specialised nuclear components, possibly under licensing arrangements with foreign suppliers.
However, the economic viability of such undertakings would have to be assessed carefully in view of the future domestic market and the availability of such equipment internationally”.
Well-designed, constructed and operated nuclear power plants have proved to be a reliable,
environmentally acceptable and safe source of electric supply in many countries all over the world.
According with IAEA sources, “there were 436 nuclear power plants operating in 31 countries at the end of April 2009 with a total net capacity installed of 372 208 MWe”.
The introduction of a nuclear power program for electricity generation in any given country is facilitated by the consideration of three important elements.
These elements are the following:
a) The elaboration and adoption of a national energy policy.
b) The elaboration and adoption of a regional energy policy.
c) The correct planning.