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World Bill Gates: nuclear power will once again become essential

09:25  05 march  2021
09:25  05 march  2021 Source:   korii.slate.fr

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"Nuclear energy will become politically acceptable again, because it is safer and cleaner than oil, coal and natural gas." Here is the clear observation that Bill Gates addressed to television during an interview on on CNBC on February 25th.

The billionaire, who has always pleaded in favor of nuclear power, puts forward two shocking arguments in favor of this energy: the fight against global warming (nuclear power does not produce greenhouse gases) and, paradoxically, security.

Although the Chernobyl or Fukushima accidents have attracted the attention of the public, "nuclear is safer than any other source of energy", assures the ex-boss of Microsoft.

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According to a compilation of studies cited by the Visual Capitalist site , nuclear energy causes the death of 90 people for every 1,000 TWh produced, against 100,000 deaths for coal, 36,000 deaths for oil, 440 for solar or 150 for wind.

When the renewable energies so adored by environmentalists, they would be impossible to implement on a large scale, argues the billionaire. "Renewable energies [which must be stored because they are intermittent] are facing an insurmountable problem: batteries ".

And he knows what he's talking about. “I lost more money than anyone in battery technology,” recalls the investor, immediately adding that he is still engaged in 5 companies related to energy storage.

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Mini-plants, maxi-efficiency

Moving on to the question of radioactive waste storage, Bill Gates still concedes a fault with current nuclear power: its staggering price.

Due to ever stricter safety standards, an EPR-type nuclear power plant like the one at Hinkley Point in England, built under the aegis of EDF, costs between 24.3 and 25.4 billion euros.

Not to mention that such a nuclear power plant takes around ten years to be commissioned, when solar panels or wind turbines can be installed in a few months.

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According to Bill Gates, the solution will come from mini nuclear power stations , modular, safer in the event of an incident and adapted to decentralized production. That's good: he founded in 2006 TerraPower , a startup that plans to market small fast neutron reactors cooled with liquid sodium.

Bill Gates is customary to go against the grain of political correctness. In addition to nuclear power, his Foundation also finances programs on genetically modified mosquitoes against dengue or the zika virus, contraception, and defends GMOs which according to him can " solve hunger in the world" . Between environmentalists, Catholics and anti-capitalists, that makes a lot of potential enemies.

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