A recent episode of Our World entitled 'Old Man Atom' has just aired on News 24. Not entirely expected of the BBC, it was rather positive in its outlook. The beginning focused on a GE facility in North Carolina, which manufactures fuel rods for export. According to the program, the business is thriving as demand has never been higher.
We then moved onto India, insatiably ravenous for more reliable supplies of electricity. After the nuclear walls have come down between the West and India over its weapons program, GE forsees new opportunities for nuclear expansion on the sub-continent, which is desparately needed to curb the damaging power cuts constantly being faced.
There was, however, a public perception problem in Mumbai as a significant number of people there were not really aware of the significance of nuclear energy in electricity generation and merely saw it as a tools of the military. One person was not even aware India used nuclear power for electricity at all (it's not too shocking really when you consider neither Sarkozy nor Royal knew of its importance to country of which they wanted to be president).
A particularly interesting part was the focus on India's attempts to develop thorium reactors as a way of improving energy security and ensuring non-proliferation (the regular fuel cycle isn't particularly useful either, but with thorium it's pretty much impossible). These reactors were touted as the future of energy in India. I was just impressed that a Beeboid had heard of thorium at all.
Kirk will be pleased.
It was an interesting programme and a reassuring one to any nuclear supporter. The attitude to nuclear power was positive. The featured sites looked professional. The personnel, all speaking up for their energy source, were likeable. Anyone would leave with the impression that a nuclear renaissance was underway and just warming up.