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The future of nuclear power?

  1. Jul 19, 2011 #1
    Hi everyone, i am student at nuclear engineering. So i have a questions about the future of nuclear power. After Fukushima disaster, many country have reviewed about nuclear power, and like Germany, they are going to close the nuclear power reactor. So can you tell me about the future of nuclear power. And the nuclear enginnering can find a job in the future? They will not unemployment? Sorry for my poor english.
    Thank you.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2011 #2

    russ_watters

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    What country do you live in? That has a big impact on the answer.
     
  4. Jul 19, 2011 #3
    Today, i live in Vietnam. But when i graduate, i want to learn Nuclear Engineering at the high level in France. ( I am learning at the program that coporate with many France university( Like Bordeaux 1)
     
  5. Jul 19, 2011 #4
    I am in the US, I feel domestically I am up the creek. I was interested in GEN III+ and GEN III designs. I am senior now coming up for graduation this coming June. So while the postivie outlook is gone , I am hoping there will be significant work keeping the current fleet going we shall see? I think it will be another 20 or 30 before we look at buidling new nuke plants
     
  6. Jul 19, 2011 #5
    I am in the freshman year and will in sophomore year in September. I like Nuclear Safe & Security domain.
     
  7. Jul 19, 2011 #6

    Chronos

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    The outlook may not be as dismal as it appears. See
    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf41.html
    Low gas prices have slowed the resurgence of nuclear power, but, this is obviously a temporary solution. No serious, economical alternatives for large scale power generation are on the technological horizon.
     
  8. Jul 19, 2011 #7

    NUCENG

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    Countries like the United states with a large geographical area absolutekly depend on baseload generation to keep the grid stable. Renewables and the smart grid need to be developed further before they can be practical alternatives. Fossil fuels will continue to be exploited uness carbon emmissions make them uneconomic (coal) or supplies become limiting (oil and natural gas).

    One of the issues facing the US nuclear industry is the average age of its operators, maintenance and engineering staff. The number of employees eligible for retirement in the next few years is staggering. This is partly due to the lack of new construction since TMI2. Many universities actually shutdown their nuclear curriculum and the US Navy has drastically reduced the number of nuclear ships and submarines operating. Relicensing of existing plants will clearly require new hiring for the next 25 years for operation and then decommissioning or further relicensing. I have no idea where the people will come from to operate new construction plants unless we get a coherent energy policy.

    I really don't see nuclear power being shut down any time soon. The weird thing is that the safety improvements available in new reactor designs with passive cooling independent of electrical power are being delayed or stopped aborning by the politics of spent fuel and the Fukushima accident. It is weird because in all likelihood it will mean we will continue to operate existing plants even longer because it is almost impossible to build any baseload generation other than natural gas due to NIMBY. That will only accelerate the costs of Natural gas (and home heating). Increased use of electric powered vehicles is another technology at risk if we can't get our energy act together.

    The United States is what I am familiar with but in general this is a global problem. Japan is right now being gored by the economic impact of loss of electric generation caused by shutting down the bulk of the energy source they had been counting on up until March 11, 2011. Germany has made their choice and Italy has again decided not to go nuclear. But we see asia and the middle east and South America wanting to build nuclear plants.
     
  9. Jul 20, 2011 #8
    In Vietnam, We have plan to build nuclear plants, and when i heard this new, i chossed to become nuclear engineer. But after the Fukushima disater, in Vietnam we have the Anti-nuclear movement. So i don't know about my future? Have i made the wrong chosse?
    Sorry for my poor english.
     
  10. Jul 20, 2011 #9
    if you're living in Vietnam, you should know this better than us..
     
  11. Jul 20, 2011 #10

    jim hardy

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    ""So i don't know about my future? Have i made the wrong chosse?""

    This is just my opinion::

    making a decision is like making a golf swing. The rightness or wrongness is in how well you follow through. When you decide to do something do it whole-heartedly, apply yourself totally and do the very best job that you can do. Don't keep changing course out of fear.

    I remind you a nuclear power plant has more work of mechanical and electrical nature than it does nuclear. The nuclear industry needs people with those skills too.

    Ask your advisor about "power system analysis" - it would seem in a growing country that would be a very important niche . Most people are unaware that the power grid is a dynamic moving thing subject to growing pains.. And it makes no difference to the grid whether it's coal or nuclear powering those generators.

    old jim
     
  12. Jul 20, 2011 #11

    russ_watters

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    Well I have a scenario that may work for you: if you are going to go to school in France: after school, you can look into getting a job in Vietnam and in France at the same time. If you can't find a job in Vietnam, you may be able to work in France for a while, gaining valuable experience for when (if?) the nuclear industry starts to take off in Vietnam. When (if) that happens, you'll be positioned to be in extremely high demand.
    No problem - your English is fine.
     
  13. Jul 21, 2011 #12
    Thank, i think after bachelor, i will learn Master in France. The French is not a problem with me. But you know, My program is called: "Filière francophone de Physique corpusculaire et Applications" in English: Physics nuclear and applications. My program teach in French. Vietnam are going to build the Russia nuclear reactor. And the Western tech are diffrent from the Russia. Truely, i want to become a inspect and work in a organization like IAEA.
    But the salary for the inspect in Vietnam is low. So i don't know. Can i have a chance to work for a organization like IAEA in the word? Can they accepted student from the thirld world country like Vietnam?

    Should i change to a second major like electronics and telecommunications technology? After freshman year, many of my friend decided to change.
     
  14. Jul 24, 2011 #13
    the future is fusion ;)
     
  15. Jul 24, 2011 #14

    Ryan_m_b

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    Sure, 50 years in the future :rolleyes:
     
  16. Jul 24, 2011 #15
    It's something ^^
     
  17. Jul 24, 2011 #16

    Ryan_m_b

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    I was joking, fusion power has always been "50 years away". For example in the 1970's it was predicted that we would have commercial fusion reactors by 2000, there's been loads of predictions like that whose deadline get's pushed back every decade. Hence the joke "50 years away".

    Though perhaps this time the prediction will be right!
     
  18. Jul 24, 2011 #17
    It's a difficult process, at north europe physics works hard in get the fusion, but control the temperature is actually a big challenge.
     
  19. Jul 24, 2011 #18

    Astronuc

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    Actually 50 years ago, fusion was only 10 years in the future. Then about the 90's, it was more like 20 years in the future. Now maybe 50 years. It keeps moving further out. :rolleyes:
     
  20. Jul 24, 2011 #19
    Just as a point of interest; Fifty years ago we were told nuclear fission was the holy grail of energy production, power will be so plentiful and cheap ,you won't be able to meter it. Now 20% of the UK population lives in fuel poverty status yet we subsidise the nuclear industry to the tune of £3billion pa.
     
  21. Jul 24, 2011 #20

    Drakkith

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    This says nothing about the nuclear industry. You would need to look at ALL the issues to determine why these people are in fuel poverty. Low income by itself is a direct cause for fuel poverty, and poverty in general. As to getting told it would cost next to nothing, well, I dunno who told you that, but I would have laughed in their face. Nothing is free!
     
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