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Oil & Gas Industry: Should we abandon oil and stick with nuclear power?

Contributor: Jessica Livingston
Posted: 02/05/2013
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Seems every day we take one step forward and two steps back with this BP oil spill. It doesn’t seem we’re any closer to cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico and salvaging the oil.

Maybe we need to seriously consider another energy source. Could it be time to give nuclear power a shot?

Bill Gates thinks so. According to this article, Bill Gates is currently backing a nuclear power start up company, TerraPower. TerraPower already has raised tens of millions of dollars developing a traveling-wave nuclear reactor.

TerraPower's nuclear reactor.
TerraPower’s nuclear reactor.

This new reactor, unlike the old ones that run on enriched uranium, runs on depleted uranium. And TerraPower believes this reactor will be able to produce power for thousands of years "without having to chemically reprocess fuel."

It certainly sounds promising. Of course though, with this BP oil spill, we see that accidents will happen. When Deepwater blew out, 11 people were killed, and local wildlife was poisoned. It’s been over three months, and it doesn’t seem like we’re any closer to containing it.

What would we do in the event of a nuclear disaster? Are we prepared to deal with another Chernobyl?

What do you think? Should we work on expanding our nuclear energy facilities? Or should oil still be the world’s primary energy source?

By Jessica Livingston

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Contributor: Jessica Livingston