Keywords: nuclear governance, energy security, developing countries, greenhouse gases, GHG emissions, environmental issues, sustainable development, sustainability, nuclear energy, nuclear power, electricity generation
Nuclear power: an inevitable option for the sustainable development of the developing nations to meet the energy challenges of the 21st century
Energy is the most strategic input for sustainable development. The global energy imbalance shows that 1.6 billion people are without access to electricity, and 2.4 billion have no access to modern fuels. Current forecasts suggest an increase in global energy consumption of over 50% by 2030, 70% of which is expected to come from developing countries. The harsh realities of the energy crisis have compelled humankind to introduce a series of structural changes, and technological and administrative interventions at the national, regional and international levels in order to help mitigate the effects of such situations. Thus, the availability of reliable energy on a long-term perspective assumes the same importance as any other form of security – individual, social and territorial security. The scenario is further compounded by the advent of the global concern for the environment. Today, the environmental dimension of energy has to be considered as seriously as any other technological, financial or economic factor of the overall matrix of a country's demand-supply balance. The energy planning of developing countries is a challenge of enormous proportions to ensure the sustainability of development. This paper proposes that developing countries need to introduce a nuclear power programme urgently as the advantages of nuclear power in terms of the environment, economics, reliability, long-term energy security, base load power supply, etc., make it an appropriate and indispensable option of the electricity generation mix for the mid- to long-term future.