The “big” energies

© Image & Process, AREVA NP
© Image & Process, AREVA NP
© Posiva
© Posiva
© CNRS Photothèque/Emmanuel Perrin
© CNRS Photothèque/Emmanuel Perrin

What should we do with nuclear energy? The debate is between two opposing views of a threat. Some view the risk in terms of our ability to control it. Others view it in terms of the price we will pay if we fail to control it.

Research is focusing on the means for eliminating all the hazards: fission in upcoming fourth generation systems, hypothetical fusion in the distant future and waste management. This is because no prospective scenario manages to remove nuclear from the energy equation. We simply need electricity too much.

Now electricity is materialising before our eyes: it is being converted into hydrogen, which can be stored and transported, then reconverted into electricity in a fuel cell, with water as its only waste product. This huge potential means that electric cars are just around the corner. And the big advantage  is that hydrogen, which is being hailed as tomorrow’s number-one energy carrier, can be produced simply using the Sun and water.


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