Every Friday to demonstrate the students for a better climate policy. But still coal for 38 percent of global energy production. Last year, the greenhouse emissions are not decreased, they increased by 2.7 percent.

In some countries it is thought, therefore, again more about the Expansion of nuclear energy, in order to achieve the climate objectives. However, not in Germany, where all investments should be laid out to 2022 at a standstill. The power gap is to be closed by renewable energy such as wind power and gas-fired power plants. The produce fewer emissions than coal-fired power plants, but far more than nuclear power. In addition, gas-fired power plants will increase the politically controversial Import of Gas from Russia.

nuclear power is not only the rejection of the population, are based on real costs basis, would be the nuclear power more expensive than the gas stream. In the U.S. several power plants were also closed without nuclear protest, because they can not compete with the cheap Gas.

New developments in technology

Nevertheless, worldwide research is being done to nuclear power. The “mit Technology Review” has compiled an Overview of the reactors of the future. An approach to the construction of small modular reactors (Small Modular Reactors SMR). To put it bluntly, you could say, here it is a case of reactors from the Assembly line. Instead of individual blocks with great performance, which will be built according to customer-specific requirements individually, are to be produced, these Mini-reactors in series. Standardized processes and the same components to reduce the cost. According to the mit Review NuScale Power, headquartered in Portland would be able to 60 to build Megawatt installations. Even a contract for the construction of twelve Mini-reactors is completed, only the financing is not secured. The series production has a Problem: It needs to be found a whole series of customers, because a larger number of units makes the building economically attractive. Added to this is the security dilemma: The small reactors need the same protection and the same security precautions such as terrorist attacks like their big brothers. This drives up the cost per Megawatt to the top.

nuclear energy

Hotter than the sun – China-reactor achieved a breakthrough in nuclear fusion

Gernot Kramper

While the SMRs are the same as the known reactors, parallel reactors of the IV Generation of technically more advanced than the well-known nuclear power plants. Particularly interesting types of that are safer than the old reactors. Use coolants such as sodium, molten salts or Helium. In China, a reactor of a new type will go in the end of this year.

the Great hope for fusion energy

The great hope for unlimited energy without climate emissions from the fusion reactors, which mimic in their Internal processes, such as the sun Lord. Here it is necessary to control the plasma current in the reactor, with its extremely high temperatures. The advantages of the fusion reactor are compelling. The System is already in the concept of “safe”: if there is interference, it would not be compressed by the Plasma, the Fusion of atoms would immediately stop. The plant could be damaged, but there would be no Atom-Gau. Moreover, there is little radioactive waste would cause an additional risk factor in the existing nuclear power plants. The European ITER project is under construction since 2010. But delay in construction, Cost overruns and political resistance to the project. According to “mit Technology Review” is a General Fusion of Vancouver with a simpler fusion system. There, it is hoped that the fusion reactors in 10 to 15 years of use could be prepared. TAE Technologies from California promises even to a fusion reactor within five years to commercial maturity.

nuclear power for autocrats

The “mit Technology Review” holds all three reactor types in the future is technically possible, but is sceptical as to whether this technique is implemented in the States of the West. A factor is the negative attitude of the population – that is to say of the voters. By disasters such as in Fukushima, nuclear power has lost its credibility. It is not sure that local residents and the population will believe the promise, the reactors of the future are safe from the mistakes of the past. Add to that a second, less well-known Argument: The extremely high start-up costs of nuclear power plants are no longer able to muster companies in the private sector today, since the time of their mono-monopoly position in electricity supply in the past.

Both factors do not play in autocratic systems such a big role as in the West. Therefore, new reactor types have been approved so far only in Russia and China. Therefore, it is not unlikely that new developments will take place in the nuclear power in these countries.

Wendelstein 7-X

German fusion reactor on the way to infinite, clean energy

The most advanced fusion reactor in the world is in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. After a year of operation, it has demonstrated that its revolutionary concept works. Until the fusion technology is to generate electricity, it is still a long way to go.

Gernot Kramper


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