It is astonishing that nuclear power is the only environmentally friendly energy source in the world that can meet the increased energy needs of the future. Nuclear power is completely unique in delivering huge amounts of reliable electricity from a very small amount of fuel as well as delivering just the right amount of energy when needed. Nuclear power is by far the most inexpensive energy source and is the only energy source that include the management of the spent nuclear fuel and the restoration of nature included in price of electricity from nuclear power. Nuclear power is also by far the safest source of energy, which results in e.g. the least number of deaths from accidents and has until 2013 saved 1.8 million people from dying due to of air pollutants from burning biomass and fossil fuels. Another significant advantage of nuclear power is that it can be expanded quickly. Sweden and France built 39 reactors in 14 years (during the years 1971-1985). Today we see a huge expansion of nuclear power development in the world as well as large investments in the next generation of nuclear power, i.e. Generation 4.
The most important requirement for an energy source is that it must be able to supply energy/electricity when needed. On a winter day with severe cold, the need for electricity is much greater than during a summer day. On average, Vattenfall’s 5 nuclear power plants in Sweden produced 93.9% of their maximum capacity during the winter of 2018-2019 (Vattenfall, ). While solar energy delivered 0% of its maximum capacity throughout Feb. 2019 (it is normally called the month in Sweden when the electricity demand is greatest). For wind power, production was lower than 10% of its maximum capacity on several occasions during Feb. 2019 (Åström S., 2019, ).
Cost of electricity
The enormous expansion of wind and solar power in combination with the closure of reliable energy sources such as nuclear power is the main reason for the skyrocketing electricity prices we see today, e.g. in Europe (Rudling P. and Magnusson G., 2021, ). In some cases, the electricity shortage is so acute that industries and areas in society are disconnected from the electricity grid and become without electricity (Rudling P., 2021, ).
For Sweden, politicians have forced the premature shut down of 6 of Sweden’s 12 well-functioning reactors by political decisions. The reliable electricity production from nuclear has been replaced by very expensive electricity from wind turbines that only produce electricity when the weather allows. Since the reactor Ringhals 1 was closed prematurely 31 Dec. By 2020, electricity prices have skyrocketed and are now in September 2021, 130% higher than at the same time last year (Rudling P. and Magnusson G., 2021, )! The Swedish electricity price is also affected by electricity prices on the continent (Montelius J., 2021, ).
Environmentally friendly and sustainable
Environmentally, nuclear power is again by far the best source of energy, largely due that extremely little nuclear fuel is required to produce an enormous amount of energy. Twelve fuel pellets, Fig. 1, of 6 g each, i.e. 72 g produces enough energy for an entire household for 6 years. If coal were to be used instead, 72 g of nuclear fuel corresponds to 12 tonnes of coal (Schimanski, 2015, ). The reactors that are built today produce enough energy for 6 million households every day. Because nuclear power is so energy-intensive, nuclear power has consequently minimum impact on the environment.
Every year, about 5 million people die from air pollution through the combustion of biomass and fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) (World in Data, ). Until 2013, nuclear power has “saved” 1.8 million from dying from air pollution and a further 400,000 to 7 million deaths can be avoided until 2050 if nuclear power replaces fossil fuels, (Kharecha PA and Hansen JE, 2015, . For energy sources such as hydropower, wind, solar and nuclear power, fossil fuels are also used for the production of, among other things, the construction materials to build the energy sources (and for the production of the nuclear fuel) .To produce the steel and cement for a small wind turbine, 600 tonnes of coal are used . It turns out that also in this respect nuclear power is by far the best from an environmental point of view since nuclear power uses the least amount of fossil fuels of all types of energy production. Studies by Vattenfall show that the amount of coal used is 5 times lower for nuclear power than e.g. wind power to produce the same amount of energy (Vattenfall reports, 2019 [11 and ).
The highly active “waste” consists of the spent nuclear fuel but is not really since it still contains fissile material that can be used as fuel in the next generation of reactors, Generation 4. The amount of spent fuel from all Swedish nuclear power plants throughout their lifetime, 40-60 years is extremely small and corresponds to a volume of only 30 * 30 * 30 meters .
Nuclear power is the only energy source where there is: 1) a developed safe method to take care of the spent nuclear fuel and restore nature where the nuclear power plant has been to a “green meadow” and 2) a financing for this by the nuclear power companies [14, 15, and 16].
An energy source must also be sustainable, i.e. be available to future generations (Scheffel J., 2014, ). Because very large amounts of energy are required to produce e.g. solar panels and wind turbines, these energy sources are not sustainable. The materials must not only be extracted, they must also be taken care of in connection with decommissioning. Nuclear power also has the best sustainability of all energy sources in this matter, partly because so little fuel is required to produce so much energy.
Nuclear power is by far the safest of all energy sources and results in the least number of deaths due to air pollution related to the combustion of biomass/fossil fuels as well as due to accidents. For the same amount of energy produced nuclear power results in 40% fewer deaths than wind power and 80% fewer deaths than solar-produced electricity (Desjardins J., 2018, ).
Today, there are 443 reactors in the world and another 56 are under construction. In addition, the construction of 424 new reactors is planned, [19 and 20]. It is indeed a renaissance of nuclear power, Fig. 2. Most countries realize that the only alternative energy source for coal is nuclear power.
- Thirty-two countries are building or planning to build nuclear reactors and
- Another 6 countries have nuclear power
- In only five EU countries, including Sweden, politicians do everything to shut down nuclear power
With the next generation of reactors (generation 4), a uranium pellet of 6 g can deliver as much energy as up to 100 tonnes of coal. The Generation 4 reactors have many advantages compared to today’s reactors:
- The spent nuclear fuel from today’s reactors can be used in the Generation 4 reactors and provide fuel for 10,000 years without further uranium mining
- Is incredibly safe and nuclear accidents can not happen
Because the politicians closed down half of our 12 nuclear power plants prematurely, we already have an large electricity shortage in southern and central Sweden, which leads to:
- Prohibition to build new industries
- Existing companies/industries cannot expand
- Swedish companies/industries may be forced to close down or move their operations to other countries with reliable cheap electricity production. We are already seeing this trend in both the UK and Germany.
- Dramatically increased electricity costs for households
When we have a cold winter, the electricity shortage will be so large that electricity customers will be disconnected from the grid during certain times. We can all realize the enormous consequences this can have on the society.
As electricity use will continue to increase in the future, new nuclear power plants need to be built immediately throughout e.g. Europe and USA!
We are extremely happy and grateful that there are so many people realising that nuclear power is the ONLY way to produce massive amounts of clean sustainable energy with a minimum impact on environment which gives hope for the future and future generations. Fig. 3 shows e.g. that 46 per cent are in favor of nuclear power in Sweden, while only 14 per cent want to close nuclear power through political decisions. It is also seen that public opinion for nuclear power has increased sharply f.o.m. 2018. It is the same trend worldwide, i.e., there is a clear majority for nuclear power. We can only hope that the current gouvernments in countries against nuclear power are replaced by pronuclear gouvernment in the upcoming elections.
 Information from Vattenfall, https://group.vattenfall.com/se/nyheter-och-press/pressmeddelanden/2019/hog-tillganglighet-fran-karnkraften-i-vinterkylan, 2019.
 Åström S.,”Svensk el februari 2019”, https://klimatsans.com/2019/03/04/svensk-el-februari-2019/, 2019.
 Rudling P. och Magnusson G., Nuvarande energipolitik leder till katastrof – Klimatupplysningen, 2021.
 Rudling P. på bloggen Energyeducation, Germany near-blackout – Energy Education , , Deutschlands Beinahe-Blackout | EIKE – Europäisches Institut für Klima & Energie (eike-klima-energie.eu), 2021.
 Montelius J., Höga elpriser – det nya normala – Klimatupplysningen, 2021.
 Schimanski,”An overview of atomic energy and nuclear power plants”, 2015.
 Photo from ”analys.se”, https://www.analys.se/portfolio_category/uran/
 Information from”ourworldindata”, https://ourworldindata.org/air-pollution#air-pollution-is-one-of-the-world-s-leading-risk-factors-for-death
 Kharecha P. A. och Hansen J. E.,” Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power”, Environmental Science&Technology, dx.doi.org/10.1021/es3051197 | Environ. Sci. Technol. 2013, 47, 4889−4895, https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es3051197 .
 Information from ”Debunk House”, https://debunkhouse.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/how-much-coal-goes-into-a-wind-turbine/
 Certified Environmental Product Declaration EPD® of Electricity from Vattenfall Nordic Nuclear Power Plants, Tabell 6, sid. 24 from Rapport S-P 00923, 2019-12-31. https://portal.environdec.com/api/api/v1/EPDLibrary/Files/edd6ae95-c679-42c1-98c7-b5818d841c5b/Data
 Certified Environmental Product Declaration EPD® of Electricity from Vattenfall Wind Farms, Tabell 7, sid 25 from Rapport S-P-01435, 2019-01-31. https://portal.environdec.com/api/api/v1/EPDLibrary/Files/644762eb-c06e-433f-a6e8-a695e54f72fe/Data
 Estimation by Peter Rudling based upon information from Simon Roth, SKB, 2021, https://www.skb.se/
 Information from SKBs, https://www.skb.se/det-har-ar-skb/finansiering/
 Information from Energiföretagens https://www.energiforetagen.se/energifakta/elsystemet/produktion/karnkraft/karnkraften-och-avfallet/
 Desjardins J. https://www.visualcapitalist.com/worlds-safest-source-energy/, 2018.
 Information from NUCNETs, https://www.nucnet.org/news/category/new-build
 Information from World Nuclear Associations, https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles.aspx
 Information from World Nuclear News https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/China-starts-building-second-CFR-600-fast-reactor
 Information from Nuclear Engineering International, https://www.neimagazine.com/news/newsfoundation-slab-concreted-at-russias-brest-od-300-reactor-9020791
 Global Construction Reviews https://www.globalconstructionreview.com/china-starts-work-landmark-fourth-generation-fast-/
 Information from”analys.se”, https://www.analys.se/opinion/