Environmental Impact Assessment for New Nuclear Power Plants in Mediterranean Countries

Environmental Impact Assessment for New Nuclear Power Plants in Mediterranean Countries

Banu Bulut Acar (Hacettepe University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7391-4.ch007
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Nuclear power is one of the sources of energy used or considered as an option by many countries in the Mediterranean as well as in the world. There are several countries in the region that currently have nuclear reactors or are planning to embark on a nuclear power program in the near future. Since the use of nuclear energy, like the other energy sources, has some environmental footprints, identification and assessment of environmental and socio-economic impacts of existing and planned nuclear power plants is important with regard to management and conservation of the Mediterranean environment. This chapter describes the interaction of nuclear power plants with the environment and focuses on the environmental impact assessment (EIA) processes conducted in nuclear power programs of the countries in the Mediterranean region.
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Energy is an essential ingredient in sustainable economic development. Therefore, there is a growing need for energy in the world. It has been estimated that global energy consumption has increased by about 50% in less than ten years (International Energy Agency [IEA], 2019a). Besides, current trends indicate that the rate of consumption will be faster in the future. Today, various energy generation methods are applied to meet increasing global demand for energy. While fossil fuels and hydro power are the major sources used, a considerable fraction of electrical energy need of the world is met from nuclear power.

Nuclear power is based on the electricity generation through the utilization of nuclear fission reaction. In the nuclear power generation, nuclear reactors are used to achieve fission reactions in a controlled manner and convert the heat released in fission reaction to electricity. Actually, except for the heat source, a nuclear power plant generates electricity like coal-fired or hydropower plants. It uses heat released from fission to generate steam that turns turbines and produces electricity.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Nuclear Safety: Challenges to obtain proper operating conditions, prevent accidents or mitigate consequences of accident in order to protect workers, the public and the environment from undue radiation hazards.

Spent Fuel: Fuel used in and discharged from nuclear reactor because it is no longer useful in sustaining fission reactions.

Nuclear Reactor: A machine designed to ensure that fission energy is produced continuously and regularly.

Radioactive Waste: Radioactive substances or materials contaminated with radioactive materials that are not intended to be reused.

Decommissioning: Removing a nuclear reactor from service and dismantling it safely.

Fission: Division of a nucleus into nuclei of lighter atoms and accompanying release of energy.

Safety Standards: Fundamental principles, requirements and recommendations developed by International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure nuclear safety.

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