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Nuclear power plants are safe, efficient and environment-friendly ߝ and in the next 20 years we’re going to need 40 more of them to meet the country’s energy demands, according to Prof. Gil Brown of the Chemical Engineering Department.
Brown made these points in an address to a Raytheon Employees Association dinner held at The Doubletree Hotel in Westborough recently.
In his talk -- titled “Nuclear Power: Poised for a Renaissance ߝ What’s Different? Why Now? ߝ he said the 103 nuclear reactors now online are performing “incredibly well. They’re running safely, efficiently and economically.”
Nuclear power provides 20 percent of electricity needs in the country today, he told the more than 160 Raytheon employees in the audience, and is the largest electric power source of non-emitting carbon dioxide. A big factor favoring nuclear power today, he said, is the increasing awareness of the need to reduce global warming.
No new nuclear plants have been ordered in the last 25 years, Brown said, and in that time their design has been greatly improved. He likened those design changes to the improvements that have been made in automobile safety in that period of time.
General Electric and a Texas utility recently announced that they are now building two new reactors.
Brown also quoted Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore, who said, “Nuclear energy is the only available technology that can replace fossil fuels on a large scale.”