ALBERTO AZCARATE VARELA
THE BAJA POST/NEWSROOM
The use of nuclear energy has shown that it is not foolproof. When it has been involved in accidents, the consequences have been regrettable. Events such as that of Chernobyl, Russia, in 1986, are precedents to take into account given the interest in building a nuclear plant in Baja California, manifested in recent days by the Ministry of Energy (SENER) through its head, Rocío Nahle.
Generating energy using radioactive material is equivalent to running a bicycle with a glass of boiling oil on your head: if the terrain you are traveling is flat, most likely nothing will happen, but if the terrain is unstable, the glass can spill on the head and face of the driver, producing disastrous consequences and permanent damage, explained Dr. Jesús Mora Ramírez, Coordinator of Renewable Energy Engineering at CETYS University Campus Mexicali.
“A nuclear accident generates environmental damage that lasts for decades, and affects human life for several generations. Contaminated water, land that cannot be used for planting, deformities, cancer and hereditary genetic diseases are some of its main effects. In addition, the radioactive cloud spreads for miles around, bringing toxicity to neighboring cities. Disaster risk seems like a simple matter, but this simple reason is enough to not build a nuclear power plant anywhere in the world, “he said.
On the other hand, taking into account its enormous potential to generate renewable energy, “it is not even necessary to consider nuclear energy as an option in Mexico,” the academic estimated.
In the 2016-2030 Renewable Energy Prospective document, issued by SENER, it is established that Mexico could operate up to 61% of its electrical system with the use of wind and solar sources only, which can be efficiently integrated into the Mexican system .
The greatest generation potential with each renewable source is as follows:
- Wind: 87,600 GWh
- Solar: 6,500,000 GWh
- Biomass: 11,485 GWh
- Hydraulic: 44,180 GWh
- Geothermal: 52,013 GWh
“Given this panorama, it is not only unnecessary to talk about nuclear energy in Mexico, but it is contrary to the current trend in the development of national renewable energies,” said Dr. Mora.
So far, the best argument in favor of nuclear energy is its cost, which according to data from the US Institute of Nuclear Energy can be produced for less than 3.4 cents per kWh, and up to 4.3 cents the most expensive, compared to the between 5 and 7 cents that the kWh of wind energy costs and the 13 cents of cost of photovoltaic solar energy.