BP's Statistical Review of World Energy appears to show that the world still has enough oil reserves to provide 40 more years of consumption at current rates.
With this resource rapidly depleting, the move is away from fossil fuels with nuclear energy being hailed as the saviour but as the worlds resources are finite, how much Uranium is there for us to mine? The World Nuclear Association put the amount, at current usage levels, at 80 years worth of Uranium but with countries planning to build multiple new Nuclear reactors at huge expense all over the globe, that 80 years will quickly fall. Within two or three generations at the most, we will be back in the same position searching for new forms of energy only this time we will have to contend with millions of tonnes of spent nuclear fuel that poses a serious health threat for the next 10,000 years.
Seems we can use nuclear fuel to stop polluting the atmosphere but the kicker is that we have to poison the ground and make large swathes of our planet uninhabitable for 10 millenniums to achieve it.
A 2003 Spanish report by the Guadalajara University Hospital into the cancer risk to citizens living around the Trillo nuclear power plant concluded: 'There is an association between proximity of residence to Trillo and cancer risk'. A German report into childhood leukaemia found that there was a 'statistically significant odds ratio for residential proximity compared to residence outside this area'. Still want one of these things in your neighbourhood?
Australia (23%), Kazakhstan (15%) and Russia (10%) hold almost half of the Worlds Uranium supplies so they would be the main beneficiaries from a nuclear era as the Middle East was from the last oil century and would face the same consequences as the supply begins to falter.
The question is why, with a limited supply and the massive financial cost of building and disposing of the fuel not to mention the environmental and safety risks involved, is Nuclear the answer when there are other cheaper, safer and never-ending resources available?
Approximately 71% of the Earths surface is covered by Oceans and as long as the Earth continues to turn, there will be waves that could be used to generate power. As long as we have a Sun heating the planet, we will have wind. Wave and wind power used in tandem would create an endless and safe supply of energy so why are we focusing on Nuclear and not plowing our money into these renewable sources instead?